This guest post is by James Madeiros of Seametrics.
Heat waves are wilting the entire nation in a furnace of scorching air, and meteorologists are calling the summer of 2012 the worst drought season since 1956.
Just reading it makes you sweat, doesn’t it?
When the breeze is tinged with hints of lava there’s really only one thing you can do for your health and your sanity, and that’s cool off. For more than a few suburbanites that means pumping thousands of gallons of water into leaky pools or keeping the hose on nonstop to power backyard water toys … but there are ways to get wet and still conserve water.
Here are 5 water-friendly ways to cool off this summer without draining the well dry.
1. Swim, Naturally
There’s nothing worse than showing up at the local pool on a hot day and not even being able to find a place to spread out your towel, much less get in the water.
Those living in the heart of Metropolis will often have no other option without hopping in the family wagon, but those with the option should think about heading for the nearest natural watering hole. Coastal inhabitants have the oceans and people in Middle America likely have their choice of rivers and lakes. Take advantage of state parks and natural water bodies – it decreases demand and wear and tear on artificial facilities that deplete freshwater supplies.
2. Boat Responsibly
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like to get out on a boat in the summertime; cruising the open water, skiing, tubing, fishing, sunbathing on the deck … the good life!
These are all great ways to cool off in a water-friendly way. After all, it doesn’t use any water in a way that leaves it unavailable for other uses and that’s the whole idea – that is, unless your boat is leaking toxic substances into the water, particularly gas and oil. Frequent inspections and repairs can help greatly reduce this kind of damage to natural waterways and water bodies.
Canoeing and kayaking are great ways to get out on the water and cool off without adding anything harmful to freshwater resources.
Contrary to assumption, canoeing and kayaking are actually very easy to do and any place that has an open body of water will likely have a place where these watercraft can be rented. You may have to suffer an unintentional splashdown or two, but that’s half the fun – especially on a hot day when getting wet is a welcome relief. The sprint canoeists at the 2012 Olympic Games may not get wet, but that doesn’t make it a rule.
Whitewater rafting is literally a thrill a minute and a great way to enjoy the cool, clean water of some of the world’s most dynamic river systems. Rafting trips can be as simple as finding the nearest rapids or scheduling a full-on rafting vacation to a new place.
According to Rafting.com, the best whitewater rapids in the U.S. can be found in 49 rivers in 24 different states spanning the entire breadth of the nation, including Alaska. (Sorry Plains States residents – you may have to take a road trip).
So maybe you don’t actually get very wet when you scuba, but it’s all about water and it will definitely cool you off.
Scuba and snorkeling offer welcome relief from the sun’s malice and you don’t have to live in a coastal region to do it. Lake diving is a much-enjoyed activity where they can be found and is popular in Michigan, Oklahoma, New York and many other places where it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about ways to cool off.
Pools are great, especially when water flow is controlled and leaks are managed, but there are thousands of other options if you’re looking to get wet without wasting a single drop of municipal water.
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