Let's Save our Water
We All Can Make a Difference

Tatiana Antonelli Abella
Co Founder & Managing Director
Goumbook.com

Global distribution of physical water scarcity by major river basin

There are more than 6 billion people to feed on the planet today and another 2 billion are expected to join by 2050. Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 liters of water every day, however most of the water we 'drink' is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 liters of water while 1 kilo of wheat 'drinks up' 1,500 liters.

Minimizing human water use helps to preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating water flow, as well as reducing the need to build new dams and other water diversion infrastructure. In order to ensure adequate water resources for future needs, we must put conservation measures into effect now.

We often overlook the importance of conserving water. However, as the population continues to grow, demand on precious water resources increase.

Water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to reduce our demand for water. Everyone can play a part, at home, at school, in our everyday life, to protect and to conserve our water so that it will be sustained for future generations.

Here are some water conservation tips you can
take and encourage others to follow.

1. At Home

  • Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it, such as watering a plant.
  • Report all water losses (broken pipes, plumbing leaks) to either the property owner or to the related local authority. Plumbing leaks can account for up to 15% of all water consumed in the house. A dripping tap can waste up to 15 liters of water a day and can mean you're paying for water you haven't used. They can also cause a lot of damage to your property and possibly to neighboring properties. Simple plumbing jobs can save a lot of water without being expensive. For example, fix dripping taps or overflows and install a leak detector to warn you about leaks anywhere in your house.
  • Turn off the tap. Don't use running water for brushing teeth, cleaning vegetables or de-frosting meat, be more economical with water. The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of 8 liters per minute. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth in the morning and at bedtime can save up to 32 liters of water per day, which equals 960 liters a month!
  • Shower instead of bathing and install water-saving shower heads (bathrooms claim 75% of all water used in the house). A quick shower can use much less water than a bath. However, not all showers are water efficient. High volume power showers can use more water than a bath in less than five minutes. Use a shower timer to reduce your time in the shower. One minute off your shower time, for a family of four would save 12,000 litres of water a year.
  • Use efficient shower head. Fitting a water flow regulator to your shower head reduces the amount of water used by about 30 % without affecting the performance of your shower. There are two basic types of low-flow showerheads: aerating and laminarflow. Aerating showerheads mix air with water, forming a misty spray. Laminar-flow showerheads form individual streams of water. If you live in a humid climate, you might want to use a laminar-flow showerhead because it won't create as much steam and moisture as an aerating one.
  • Install aerators on kitchen and bathroom faucets. Faucet aerators effortlessly save water by as much as 4%. Bathroom and kitchen aerators are simple screw in attachments with wire screens that mix air into the water flow. Aerators also reduce the natural gas and electricity cost involved with water heating. Aerators coupled with water saving shower heads can reduce the average homes hot water usage by as much as 50%.
  • Run dishwashers and washing machines only when they are full.
  • Composting. Whenever possible, compost food scraps. There is a number of energy saving reasons behind composting. Your rubbish is about 40% organic waste composting keeps it all out of landfill and reduces the number of collection trucks on the road. The organic wastes that end up in landfills decompose without oxygen and produce methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Composts also reduce the need for chemical fertilizers which run off into the water table.

Good Habits

  • Always use a bucket to wash the car, never a hose pipe.
  • Sweep driveways, pavements and steps instead of hosing them down.
  • Don't over-water the garden, use an efficient irrigation system and avoid watering during the heat of the day.
  • Green your garden with indigenous plants that are drought tolerant and will reduce your water consumption.
  • Don't throw your used grounded coffee but add it to the soil to improve its water holding capacity.
  • Cover your swimming pool to reduce evaporation and fill the pool a few inches lower than usual.

2. In your community

  • Encourage your company to help develop and promote a water conservation ethic among the office staff and employees.
  • Participate in water and energy conservation programs in hotels while you travel: if you don't use fresh towels every day, you'll save on laundry water usage.
  • Encourage your children's school to promote water and power conservation.
  • Make sure you don't leave half empty bottles behind when you leave a meeting or a restaurant, usually that water is thrown away and goes to waste.

3. Coping with population growth calls for a series of actions
     we can all help with:

  • Follow a sustainable diet;
  • Consume less water-intensive products;
  • Reduce the scandalous food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten and the water used to produce it is definitively lost!
Water footprint
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