On 22 May is World Water Day, an annual celebration that aims to raise awareness about water use, water scarcity, and safe drinking water. With the rising concern in the United States concerning lead pipes – Αποφρακτική Αντωνίου – and safe drinking water, this year’s Water Day takes on special significance.
While people tend not to think about water problems unless it directly affects them, there is ample cause for concern around the world.
Here are just some water safety statistics (from water.org) that might make you think twice about the water you take for granted every day:
- 663 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water.
- 2.4 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to a toilet.
- Twice the population of the United States lives without access to safe water.
- 1/3 of the global population lives without access to a toilet.
- More people have a mobile phone than a toilet.
- A review of rural water system sustainability in eight countries in Africa, South Asia, and Central America found an average water project failure rate of 20 – 40 percent.
- Globally, 1/3 of all schools lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
- In low and middle-income countries, 1/3 of all healthcare facilities lack a safe water source.
Although there isn’t a lot you can do to solve the world’s water problem, a great way to celebrate World Water Day is to decrease your own water usage at home and consider donating to a clean water charity.
Just think: the average American uses over 100 gallons of water every day and uses more water taking one 5-minute shower than an average person in the slums of a developing country uses in a whole day.
How to use less water in the bathroom
If you own your home, one of the first steps you can take is to install water-efficient fixtures on faucets and change to a water-conserving shower head.
Don’t despair; newer technology has created shower heads and faucets that use less water but provide a stronger flow or spray, so you won’t be left standing under a lackluster sprinkle of water or trying to get enough force from the faucet to rinse your razor. There may even be rebates from your local water utility to help offset the expense.
The next thing to check is your toilet. If your house was built in recent years, you probably already have a low-flow toilet. And you probably hate it, right?
Potty technology has advanced considerably in the past decade or so. Newer toilets will, um, do the job better, and will likely use even less water than older low-flow models.
If you’re having to flush repeatedly to get solid waste down the drain, you’ll save water and frustration by installing a newer model. Look for the dual-flush feature, which uses a very small amount of water for ‘clean’ flushes and a more powerful flush to eliminate solid waste.
These do work, and they work well. And as with other energy-saving steps, you may be eligible for a rebate if you install one or more in your home. The difference in water use can be significant.
More Tips on How to Save Money
- Turn off the faucet when you shave or brush your teeth. For shaving, fill the sink with warm water and dip the razor rather than letting water run endlessly while you trim your whiskers.
- Fill a glass full of water and use that to rinse your mouth and toothbrush rather than leaving the faucet run while you brush your teeth.
- Take showers rather than baths whenever possible – it uses less water. This surprises people, but that’s what the records show.
- Check for leaks and drips! What looks like a tiny amount of water coming from your tap, or a low-volume trickling noise in your toilet, can add up to many gallons of wasted water and a higher bill each month.
- Put a brick in your toilet. Yes, really. If you’re not ready to pony up for a newer toilet with low-flow and dual flushing features, put a brick or other large, weighty object in the toilet tank. This will cut down on the amount of water your toilet uses for each flush.
Ways to save water in the kitchen
We waste many gallons of water in the kitchen, much of which goes down the drain while we rinse dishes before loading the dishwasher.
You can rinse your dishes just as well if you fill up a pan (or even a bowl) with a bit of water and use that to rinse things off before loading the dishwasher. You may have to turn on the faucet here and there, but overall, you’ll use a very small amount of water to get the same job done.
A good way to do this is to use a pan you’ve cooked in (this is especially easy if you make pasta and the pan is already sort of clean). I’ve also used salad bowls, large cereal bowls, or any other item that already needs to be washed. Rinse it out briefly, then fill it with sudsy water (it doesn’t have to be warm water) and use that for the rest of the dishes.
If you plan to run the dishwasher right after the meal, go ahead and turn the faucet to hot or warm water while you’re rinsing. This will warm up the water before the dishwasher starts and clean the dishes better.
What setting do you use for most loads? If you’re using anything other than the water-saving setting (there may be more than one), you’re probably wasting water. Try a few loads on the cycle that uses the least water and energy and see if the results are satisfactory.
Do you run water into a clean pan to rinse it before filling it to boil food? Many of us do this out of some sort of perverse habit. You’re using a clean pan, remember? It doesn’t need to be rinsed!
The same goes for water glasses; another habit many of us have is to take a perfectly clean glass out of our cupboard and then rinse it before filling it for drinking!
If your refrigerator has a water dispenser, chances are you don’t rinse the glass before filling it from that source? You don’t need to rinse at the sink, either. if you do have a cold water dispenser, this will save water just due to eliminating the useless-rinse habit.
And, as mentioned before, check for leaky faucets – Αποφράξεις Αντωνίου Αθήνα – and other water-wasters. Repairing these in a timely way will save on water use, your water bill, and quite possibly on damage to your flooring or countertops.
Water is precious
There has always been the same amount of water on Earth that we have today.
Much of the water on our planet is frozen or otherwise can’t regularly be consumed for drinking or agriculture (sea water has to be processed, for example, to yield drinkable water). We have polluted considerable amounts of water, and we aren’t getting any sort of magical new supply to replenish those resources.
You can do your share by saving a few gallons at a time at home. These gallons add up, more than you realize. If only 100 million people in the world (out of the billions living on the planet) each conserved just 100 gallons every year, we would save 10 billion gallons a year in wasted water.