In his daily work, Ali Elhassan is immersed in the details of human water use. As manager of the water supply planning unit at the Metropolitan Council, Elhassan helps communities across the seven-county Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area coordinate the ways they get and use water from rivers, aquifers, and other natural sources.
Like virtually every other Minnesotan, Elhassan is also a water user—a runner of faucets and a flusher of toilets. And he knows that no one is perfect when it comes to water conservation. Take, for example, his family of four and their bathroom plumbing.
"Toilets are the biggest users of water inside the house," Elhassan explains. "Our house was built in 1993, so we still have toilets that use 3.8 gallons per flush. We are planning to change our toilets to new, efficient ones that use 1.28 gallons per flush. We are trying our best."
Elhassan urges others to try their best as well. The Metropolitan Council has developed a conservation toolbox, a compilation of online resources filled with inspiration and suggestions for ways people can reduce household water use. The toolbox also has other resources for businesses, communities, and water suppliers.