I've been asked to write about saving water, as apparently the message is still not really getting out there. I think we're all assuming that the days upon days of spring rain we've been having has gone some way to reversing the water shortage. Unfortunately, it hasn't, as the water supplies deep underground are still badly depleted.
Even without the current water shortage, we should all of course be saving water. Charities like WaterAid work worldwide to provide people in developing countries with water and basic sanitation, something which we take for granted every day.
I know a lot of us are less than happy with our water companies, who appear to make huge profits whilst leaving pipes to leak and refusing to replace worn out infrastructure. But, putting that anger aside, we can all work individually at a grassroots level to reduce our own water consumption, and thereby change the world just that little bit at a time.
As an aside, by saving water and reducing our own individual consumption, we will also be reducing the amount of chemicals needed to clean our water, and the electricity used at pumping and cleaning stations. This really is a case of every little helps!
Incredibly, only 4% of tap water is used for drinking, and a third of the water we use every day is, quite literally, flushed away! Let's all pull together to reduce water consumption today.
So what exactly can you and your family do to help?
1. Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads, and if you need to replace them, look for A-rated appliances which use minimal water.
2. Keep a jug of water in the fridge so that you don't have to run the tap to get cold water every time you want a drink.
3. Only boil as much water as you actually need in kettles or saucepans (a good electricity saver too)
4. Steam vegetables, rather than boiling, which not only uses less water, but also preserves more of the nutrients in your veg.
5. If any of your taps are dripping, fix those washers - a dripping tap can waste up to 100 litres of water a week!
6. Take a shower (ave. 30l water) rather than a bath (80l), and if possible avoid power showers which can use more water than a bath!
7. Put a Hippo water saver in your loo cistern, this can save water even if you have dual flush toilet.
8. If you feel brave enough, adopt the 'if it's yellow let it mellow' motto, and only flush straight away for ahem number twos. This is probably more bearable if you're at home on your own with the children, rather than when two adults, and potential visitors are around!
9. Shockingly, brushing your teeth with the tap running uses 6 litres of water every minute - turn it off!! Ditto whilst washing your face or shaving, just put the plug in and run some water into the basin.
10. Ditto preparing veg under a running tap, run some into a bowl instead, then chuck it on your garden afterwards.
11. You can also use your vegetable water on your garden, and apparently house plants love the nutrients in the water you used to boil your eggs!
12. Install water butts to collect rain water for your garden, and use watering cans rather than a hose - even if your area doesn't have a ban yet!
I'm sure you do some, if not all, of these already. Do you have any more ideas to add?
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