“Running Water” by Jessica Melling
There are two very important reasons why we should all be doing our bit to help conserve water. There is the obvious money-saving benefit that comes with using less water but in my view the second reason is something most of us do not about nearly enough – the environment.
In the developed world, having easily accessible water is not considered a luxury, but although we take running water for granted, the fact is that less than 1% of all fresh water in the world is easily accessible to humans.
In under-developed countries, more than 884 million people lack easy access to safe, clean water, and this number is still growing. This means that only about one in every eight people has water when and where they need it. This alone should motivate you to use water sparingly, but in addition to this; using water, particularly hot water, contributes to global warming by increasing the emissions of greenhouse gases. The average family in the developed world uses about 500 litres of water per day, which produces around 1.5 tons of greenhouse gasses every year.
It is therefore, extremely important that we all try to conserve water. I recognise that you are likely busy in your everyday life so I wanted to offer 5 simple tips which are easy to implement and will lead to a dramatic increase in the amount of water you save and a big reduction in your water bills.
1. Fix Leaks
You may not think that a leaky faucet or shower head wastes a lot of water, but all those drops add up and a leaky faucet could waste up to 75 litres of water per day. So just imagine how much water a larger leak could be wasting in your property. There’s a reason why the water companies are so proactive about ensuring they fix leaks across their pipe network – if we all get involved and fix leaks in our own homes, just imagine the impact we can have.
2. Invest in a Low Flow Toilet
Flushing the toilet is of course a basic hygiene requirement but believe it or not toilets use about 40% of the total daily water consumption in a household. Using a more efficient flush system for your toilet could greatly reduce that percentage and save you a lot of money in the long run.
3. Use Water Efficient Shower Heads and Faucets
Today, we use nearly 50% more water than we used to. This is partly down to the fact that showers have become more powerful and household appliances use more water to run. Showers and faucets make up about 35% of our total daily water consumption. By using more efficient faucets and shower heads, you can still enjoy your showers, but with the knowledge that you are not using more water than you need to.
4. Turn Off the Water While Brushing Teeth or Shampooing Hair
Leaving the water running while you brush your teeth or massage the shampoo into your hair is not only entirely unnecessary, it can also waste hundreds of litres of water. By simply turning off the tap while doing these things, you can save money and the environment.
5. Insulate Your Homes Water Pipes
When taking a shower, you probably need to leave the water running for a few minutes to warm up before you get in. By insulating your water pipes, the water will heat up much faster, and you can save water by not leaving the water on for longer than you have to. It also pays to have your water heater checked at least yearly, to ensure that it is working as efficiently as possible.
By James A, a freelance writer working on behalf of Sydney Water Tanks