Let’s talk water…

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It is National Water Week this week, with World Water Day happening today, so now is the perfect time to stop to think about just how much water you really use.

Living in a water-stressed country as we do, water is a resource that we should be protecting like gold. Unfortunately this isn’t happening, with stories of pollution and wastage rife.

How you can help

Each and every one of us can help these problems though. Wastage is the first issue to tackle and most advice out there is geared towards water saving. Things like fixing leaks the minute you spot them, not running the tap when you aren’t actually using the water (eg when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving) are tips you have probably heard before. There are many more like this – we have some on our water page, or you can visit either the Water Wise or For Love of Water websites for loads of water information and tips.

Understanding your water footprint

Part of saving water is also about understanding what your water footprint is. Your water footprint takes into account both your direct and indirect water usage. Indirect water usage is defined as the freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services that you use. For example, 1 kilo of beef requires 15 thousand liters of water to produce, a kilo of chicken, 4000 litres1. This is one of the reasons why campaigns to reduce eating animal products, such as Meatless Monday, are promoted.

It’s not just meat production that uses a lot of water though – paper, cotton and in fact almost everything you use inevitably uses water during its production. Being a responsible consumer will go a long way to reducing your indirect impact on water.

Check out the Waterfootprint website for much more information and a handy calculator.

Reducing pollution

Water pollution comes in many forms – the most obvious of course is litter and chemical discharges in our rivers and dams – which often is out of our control, but have you considered how you might be contributing to polluting our waters? By using chemicals to clean our homes, clothes and our bodies we are inadvertently polluting our water. Switch to natural and biodegradable cleaners and soaps – it’s much better for you too! Most of our supermarket chains stock their own green range of cleaners, or try your local natural or health store. Alternatively a wide range of green cleaning products are available for sale online. Try Harmless House  and Faithful to Nature.

Make a commitment

Being water aware is something you need to commit to being long-term. Just because we only have one National Water Week and one World Water Day a year, doesn’t mean the issue of water conservation is any less important at other times of the year. Adopt new water-saving behaviours on a permanent basis and encourage others to do so to!

 

References:
1. http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/Animal-products

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