“Scarcity of water all over the world is becoming an increasing problem. And it’s only going to get worse”, said Richard Connor, editor-in-chief of the United Nation’s World Water Development Report 2016 (WWDR). He went on to say “Water has already been relatively scarce, It’s just that populations are growing and economies are developing, so demand for water keeps increasing, but the quantity of water that is available does not.”
According to Water.org, less than 1 percent of the water on the earth is readily available for human use, that is, it is fresh–rather than salty–and reasonably clean. Salt can be removed from the ample sea water through a process called desalinization, but this process is expensive enough that it is rarely used as an ongoing, practical solution for water scarcity issues. Water conservation is a straightforward, common sense way to make the most of the fresh water that we do have.
Below are some of the many ways that we can implement as an individual or as a household to save water.
1. Turn off the taps
Leaving a tap running while brushing teeth uses 6 litres of water a minute. And by fixing a dripping tap you can save over 60 litres of water a week.
2. Boil what you need
Only boil as many cups of water as you need for your tea round – you’ll be saving money and energy.
3. Shower with less
It’s easy to linger in the shower when you’re sleepy in the morning – four-minute timers can help. And switching to an efficient shower head will allow you to lather up in less water.
4. Save up your dirty clothes
Washing a full machine load of clothes uses less water and energy than two half-loads. This means lower bills as well.
5. Steam your veggies
As well as using less water than boiling, steaming retains more nutrients. If you do boil, try adding the water used as a tasty stock to soups. Or let it cool and use it to water house or garden plants.
6. Time your gardening
Water outdoor plants in the early morning or at the end of the day. This stops water evaporating straight away in sunlight and heat. Also, water onto the soil rather than leaves. This makes sure the liquid goes straight to the roots, where it’s needed.
7. Catch rainwater
Installing water butts saves you turning on the tap. And your plants will thank you for rainwater rather than treated tap water. You can also cut water use by 33% by watering plants manually instead of using automatic sprinklers.