Water – the essence of life

Have you ever thought about the amount of water you us in your everyday life?

I assume, most of us – me included – just take it for granted and spend our thoughts on other topics. But consider these numbers:

A person living in India uses 75 litres on average everyday, a person in Germany about the double: 127 litres. A person in the USA has a daily use of 295 litres on average and people living in Dubai are at the top with 500 litres per day. I’m sure you’re asking yourself where all this money goes:

  • The smallest amout is drunk and used during cooking (3 l in Germany)
  • Then there is the water used for washing the dishes and cleaning )each 7 l in Germany)
  • The water used for the daily body treatment, ecl. showering and bathing comes next (5–15 l in Germany)
  • Showering is the thing that makes up third place on water usage (20–40 l in Germany). This doesn’t mean bathing, but really only showering
  • Second place goes to washing clothes (30 l in Germany)
  • And finally, on first place: We use the most water daily for flushing the toilet! (40 l in Germany)

I’ve to say that I didn’t think the division would be as such, but looking at the amount used each day I started thinking whether it would be possible to save water and at what point…

As always, I checked the internet for some ressources. Here are some suggestions that I found.

  1. Check faucets and pipes for leaks
    A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.
  2. Don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket
    Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.
  3. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks
    Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
  4. Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
  5. Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank
    To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day.
  6. Take shorter showers.
    One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.
  7. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush.
    There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.
  8. Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads
    Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation. Most makers of dishwashing soap recomend not pre-rinsing dishes which is a big water savings.
  9. When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing
    If your have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water. Dual-swivel aerators are available to make this easier. If using a dishwasher, there is usually no need to pre-rinse the dishes.
  10. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.
    Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle.
  11. Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
    If you are planting a new lawn, or overseeding an existing lawn, use drought-resistant grasses . Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other species. Replace herbaceous perennial borders with native plants. Native plants will use less water and be more resistant to local plant diseases. Plant slopes with plants that will retain water and help reduce runoff. Group plants according to their watering needs.
  12. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks

There are tons of other things you can make to save water. If you’re looking for more information check out this website: www.wateruseitwisely.com. I was surprised how much one can really do!

About 70% of the earth are covered with water, but only about 3% of this is fresh water of which about 0.3% can be used as drinkable water. Of course, we also do have the technology to turn salt water into drinkable water, but at what extense. These plants mean a lot of ecological damage and the need of imense amounts of energy.

Perhaps, we should start to treat water the was it deserves: as being the most valuable ressource we have here on earth.

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