It's one of, if not THE, world's most valuable resources. We use it to make and create everything we use or do or consume – we’re made of it for goodness sake! But how often, as individuals, do we consider how much water we use each day.
10 gallons or 38 litres is what I used in 8 days in the desert. Most of this was for drinking, dishes, dinner and teeth brushing. I quiver to think of how much I wasted on long showers and washing dishes under a running tap back in London. Consider for a second the amount of water it takes for your local café to make you a hot mocha and sandwich – water you say? Think preparation (water used to make the bread, wash the lettuce and filter through the coffee machine) and cleaning.
Basically we use a lot of it – too much in fact. The United Nations World Water Assessment Programme, recently stated “that urgent action is needed if we are to avoid a global water crisis.” Whether we see it directly (through turning on the tap) or indirectly (via the products and services we use daily) it’s time to lower our individual usage.
Here are a few tips to help you water down.
In the home:
• Turn the tap off to save 7 litres per minute
• Install low-flow shower head (according to Water for Tomorrow showering accounts for 17% of a household’s indoor water use)
• Replace your toilet with a dual-flush, low flow model to half your toilet water waste
• Wash fruit and veg over a bowl in the sink and reuse to water plants in the garden
• Clean dishes in a sink of soapy water and rinse afterwards rather than keeping the tap running
• Fix leaking taps (60 drops per minute is equal to approximately 730 litres lost per month)
In the garden:
• Spread organic mulch around plants and trees to help the soil retain moisture so that you don’t need to water so often
• Install a computer based irrigation system which gets data from the web and combines it with information collected by ground sensors to provide precision watering for your garden.
• Choose native plants that are the most drought-resistant – even in parts of the UK that get plenty of water you can eradicate the need to water the garden at all.