The United Nations has declared March 22 ‘World Water Day’, a day dedicated to thinking about just how important water is to us all. In honour of this special day, we’ve put together some tips for saving water at home that will help you do your bit for the planet.
We are so used to having everything on tap – literally – that we don’t think of water as a luxury. And yet 4 billion people around the world have difficulty accessing this essential resource during the driest months. And up to 844 million of them don’t have drinking water in their homes.
Facts about water to make you think
Numbers don’t lie: the huge amount of rubbish that we throw away, as well as the environmental problems it causes, means that a huge proportion of the global population has no water. The following facts and figures provide food for thought.
- 13 million tons of plastic end up in the sea every year. 100,000 animals die through eating it or getting tangled up in it.
- More than 360,000 children die every year from illnesses such as cholera or hepatitis A, which are spread through contaminated water.
- Only 20% of wastewater is treated before being released into rivers or the sea.
- The sea absorbs 25% of greenhouse gases, so we should take good care of it.
On water scarcity:
- 159 million people collect the water they need from public fountains or rivers every day.
- The OECD estimates that we will need 55% more water in 2050 than we did in 2000, and that half of the global population will have difficulty accessing it.
- Our planet has 1,386 million cubic kilometres of water. Only 2.5% of this is fresh water and only 30% of fresh water is drinkable because it is not snow, ice or from glaciers.
69% of water is used in agriculture, 19% in industry and only 12% in households. This means an enormous amount of water is dedicated to growing what we eat.
Tips for saving water
We would love to be able to save the planet by just snapping our fingers, but the sad truth is that we can only do it by making small changes. Below, we share our tips on how to save water – and money.
- Think of all the water you waste in the bathroom. You could turn off the tap when you’re soaping yourself in the shower, or when washing your hands or cleaning your teeth at the sink. Do the same when you’re washing the dishes: turn the tap off while you scrub.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) calculated that a 10-minute shower uses 200 litres of water. This means that you save 20 litres for every minute you turn off the tap. If you do the same for the bathroom and kitchen sinks, you could also save another 60 litres per minute.
- Don’t take baths! Showers clean just as well and are much quicker. And you will save several litres of water.
- Every time you flush the toilet, you’re using between 13 and 23 litres of water. A handy trick is to put a plastic bottle in the cistern so that it doesn’t fill up with so much water.
- Look out for drips. Many taps and tanks drip slightly, and we don’t give it a second thought. But this can create up to 15 litres of wasted water a day: enough to run the dishwasher or to provide drinking water for one person for a whole week. Your water bill will be lower, too!
- Plants need a lot of water. Make the most of rainy days to take your plants outside!
- Check the energy efficiency rating of your washing machine and dishwasher. Sometimes, buying a cheaper model can work out more expensively in the long run. It is worth buying a higher-end appliance that uses less water in each wash.
Amazing facts about water
The name of our planet may be Earth, but it is water that gives it its characteristic blue colour, and which is undoubtedly responsible for the world’s greatest wonders. Niagara has the most famous waterfalls, but did you know that they’re not actually the biggest? This accolade goes to the Angel Waterfalls in Venezuela, which are 20 times higher!
Glaciers are another one of nature’s great marvels. These huge ice masses store around 23 million cubic kilometres of water: if they melted, the sea levels would rise to the equivalent of the 20th floor of a high-rise building.
At Badi we want you to be well informed. For other interesting facts – about everything from current affairs and ecology to how to decorate your flat – keep checking in our blog.