Water: a resource that man cannot live without. Fundamentally our planet would seem to have plenty: 70% of the Earth is covered with water, but 97% of this is salty and 2.5% is ice, a value that is continuously decreasing due to global warming. So there is a paltry 0.5% of the total which must be divided between the 7.7 billion people who live on the planet: so it's quite understandable how, in reality, the Earth does not have plenty of water at all.
Suffice it to say that 25% of the world's population lives in areas of very high water stress to understand that you need to commit to not wasting water. According to Aqueduct's Water Risk Atlas, the map showing the relationship between the water availability of 189 nations and the communities that inhabit them drawn up by the World Resources Institute, although the UK is low risk, the situation is more serious in other European countries such as Belgium, in 23rd place, Greece in 26th, Spain and Portugal, in 28th and 41st respectively.
We can each in our own small way help to reduce water waste, and the price may be high if we don't change our habits.
There are several opportunities for wasting water in our daily activities, consuming much more water than is necessary. A little thought will also reduce the water bill.
Let's see how to save water by following 7 simple good habits.
- Turn the taps off: when you brush your teeth, shave, wash dishes etc., it's good practice to turn off the taps: in this way you can save up to 6 litres of water every minute. The same is true for the shower: being under the water jet for too long wastes water.
- Choose to shower rather have a bath: on average, filling a bathtub uses four times more water than taking a shower. Choosing a shower guarantees a 75% reduction in water consumption.
- Choose a toilet with a double button: new models on the market allow you to choose between a 6-litre flush and a 12-litre flush as needed. This can generate a saving of 26,000 litres of water every year.
- Operate dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads: you don't need to rinse dishes, glasses, cutlery, pots under running water before loading the dishwasher: either wash everything by hand, taking care to insert the plug, or simply remove food residues and grease before putting items in the dishwasher. These steps can reduce water consumption by up to 8,200 litres per year.
- Collect rainwater or use water from air conditioners: to water plants and the garden (after sunset, so that the water evaporates slowly) or to wash the car.
- Choose steam cleaning: to understand its advantages just consider that 1 litre of water produces up to 1000 litres of steam. With a steam cleaner it's easy to sanitize the whole house and kill mites, germs and bacteria without the use of chemical detergents which, when used, need to be rinsed away resulting in even greater use of water. By using a steam mop to clean floors, you can eliminate buckets, brushes and soap. Furthermore, by choosing a product with a portable steam cleaner, it's not only floors that benefit from not being treated with chemicals: with some models of steam mop all washable surfaces in the home, such as taps, sanitary fixtures, hobs, glass and windows can be thoroughly sanitized.
- Install taps aerators and repair broken taps: a tap aerator is a device which, mounted on the end of the taps, reduces the flow of water delivered while maintaining the same pressure. They can give an average annual saving of about 30%, that is about 6,000 litres of water. By repairing dripping taps you can save 21,000 litres of water per year from each tap.
Much more can be done! But by adopting these simple practices you can start to reduce the waste of water, a gift of nature that we shouldn't take for granted.