With climate change contributing to water scarcity around the world, it’s time to think about how we can save water.
While seventy per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with water, less than one per cent is usable freshwater. Even though this doesn’t sound like much, there is still enough water to produce food for everyone in the world. But water is a vital resource and needs to be treated as such. So what can we do, as individuals, to use water in smarter ways?
1. Shorter showers
Most of our water use happens first thing in the morning in the shower. Turning off the shower while shampooing your hair or shaving can help conserve water, as can reducing the time you spend in the shower.
2. Use rainwater in the garden
During the heat of summer, the average gardener can use hundreds of litres of water keeping their plants alive. Some people will use a watering can (good), while others might leave a sprinkler on all day (bad). Importantly, you don’t need to use drinking water – plants are happy with rainwater. You can collect this with a tank and simple guttering system from your garage or carport roof. Or keep a few buckets out when it rains.
3. Use the short flush
If available, use the short flush to significantly reduce how much water is wasted.
4. Cut back on car washing
If you need to wash your car, use a bucket of soapy water rather than hosing it down. Better still, avoid washing your car during dry spells.
5. Reuse water
You can reuse the water when washing vegetables by placing a bowl in the sink and later using it to water your plants. And while you’re waiting for the hot water to come through, use the cold/warm water to fill the kettle or pot. And don’t forget to turn off the tap while you’re lathering your hands with soap or brushing your teeth.
Article sources and references
- SPEECH DELIVERED BY: Inger Andersen EVENT: Pre-COP 26 event on ‘Water Security Under Climate Change’ hosted by the University of Glasgow, 27 OCT 2021. Accessed August 2022https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/speech/climate-change-water-scarcity-and-security
- The Groundwater Consortium. Accessed August 2022https://gwconsortium.org/public-education/how-much-of-the-earth-is-covered-with-water/
- United Nations, UN Water. Accessed August 2022https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/water-food-and-energy/
- Water UK, 31 August 2020. Accessed 2022https://www.water.org.uk/news-item/vast-majority-of-brits-have-no-idea-how-much-water-they-use-each-day/