Water, just like air is vitally important for human beings. While everybody needs water, the usage of water around the world varies greatly from country to country. On average, people living in Central Africa each use only 2% of the water used by people in North America.
Agriculture accounts for 70% of all water consumption, compared to 20% for industry and 10% for domestic use. Industries, however, consume more than half of the water available for human use. Belgium, for example, uses 80% of the water available for industry. Each year, the human population uses 1,300,000 billion gallons of water for domestic, agricultural and other industrial purposes.
The countries with the highest population numbers – China, India and the United States – use the most water but water use per person is about three times higher in the United States than it is in India and China.
See how much water has been consumed so far this year. It is obvious that we need to reduce our use of water. Apart from the advices that we have heard too many times: “Stop the water while you are brushing your teeth!” or “Shower instead of taking a bath!”, there are many ways to conserve water without making big changes to our lifestyle.
March 22nd is World Water Day and to start celebrating it a week earlier, I will share with you some tips that my family employs daily as well as some that we are about to start using to conserve water.
- A thing we have been doing in my household for years is to designate a glass for drinking water for each of us every day, or refill a water bottle. This action drastically cuts down the number of glasses to wash.
- Instead of thawing food under running water We defrost it in the fridge which not only conserves water but also ensures healthier food. This, of course, means that you have to plan your meals the day before, to allow the food to defrost fully in the fridge.
- Always run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full. By doing this you can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
- It has long become a habit of mine to wash dark clothes in cold water. This action saves water and energy while and is beneficial for your clothes because they keep the color longer.
- If you accidentally drop ice cubes when filling your glass from the freezer, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
- Instead of running the tap to get cold drinking water, keep a glass bottle of water in the fridge.
- To minimize evaporation, water your lawn and garden when the temperatures are cooler, i.e. early in the morning or in the evening, after sunset.
- Replace your old showerhead with a water-efficient model.
- Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month.
- Turn off the water while you shave and save up to 300 gallons a month.
- Collect the water after rinsing fruits and vegetables to then reuse it to water house or garden plants.
- Use the nutrient-rich water from cleaning your fish tank to water to your plants.
- Collect rain water from your roof to water your garden.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
- Reduce the amount of flush water by inserting a displacement device (f.ex. a plastic bottle filled with water) in the tank of your toilet.
While the world’s population tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources has grown six times. The population growth, together with industrialization and urbanization are leading to an increasing demand for water and is leading to serious consequences on the environment. But we have the power to turn statistics in the opposite direction. If only we decide to change ourselves!
What steps are you taking daily to conserve water?
[Map via Worldmapper]