Every drop counts?!
Why water conservation matters, what can I do and what are my benefits?
Water is our most precious resource, but also a finite resource. While most of the planet is covered in water, less than 1% is available fresh water for human consumption.
Water is also becoming more and more stressed. Governments place a high priority on delivering adequate water supplies to both consumers, industry, and agriculture, but water stocks safe for drinking are depleting fast all around the world. Water usage has increased six times in the past 100 years and will double again by 2050. Additionally, changing climate will also have a severe impact on water resources, rain patterns, droughts etc.
At the same time, many people in the world still lack access to water. Research studies and the UN indicate that more than 1.1 billion people lack access to water, with 2.7 billion experiencing water scarcity at least one month a year.
The Why and How of Water Conservation
We should do their best to conserve water for three main reasons.
Water conservation reduces water and energy use and saves households money. Most companies and families pay to use water and for the sewage system. The less water we use, the less we have to pay each period. Appliances that use water, such as showers, washing machines and dishwashers, also use a considerable amount of energy mostly to heat up the water.
Conserving water now allows cities and regions to plan for more efficient use of the water resources in the future. If most of an area’s clean water is wasted, there will be less water for future generations to use especially if water is pumped up faster than it can be replenished. This is happening in increasing places in the world as the water extracted is not replenished by rainfall causing groundwater levels to decrease leading to many new problems in return. For the future, this will mean cities will need to come up with new ways to produce clean, fresh water, which will ultimately be at the taxpayers’ expense if at all possible in some locations.
The less water we use or waste, the less clean water will become contaminated. In some cases, using excess amounts of water puts a strain on septic and sewage systems, leading to contamination of groundwater, as untreated, dirty water seeps from the sewage system into the ground.
Water saving also has many great benefits. These include:
- Save a precious resource
- Reduce your water bill
- Lower your energy bill (used for heating the water)
- Emit less CO2 emissions (less energy used for heating and less water needs to be pumped around)
- Help create a more resilient water system (efficiency is important especially at times when water is scarce)
- Improve your building standards (LEED, BREEAM, DGNB, Green Star, CASBEE, Estidama)
Most places in the world are affected by water stress in some way (WRI.ORG)