Water is a precious resource world over. This may sound downright misleading seeing as 70% of the planet is covered in water. But only a paltry 1% of that water is freshwater, upon which much of life is sustained.
Across the world, fresh water is becoming scarcer. Climate change, population increase and environmental damage to forests and water tables are impacting negatively on the availability of fresh water for human consumption. Speaking of consumption, research into water usage shows Australians are one of the world’s highest water users, with average consumption per person at 3,41,000 litres per year. This is in spite of living in the driest continent on earth. In some parts of the world, people make do with less than 19,000 litres per year.
The large portion of our water use in the home is sent down the drain. Toilets, showers and gardening top the list of big water consumers. Drinking water only constitutes 1% of total consumption. Our usage of water is very inefficient.
Preservation and conservation of water is critical. The figures speak for themselves and call all to save water.
Some advantages that accrue to you for saving water include:
- Lower water utility bills means more money in your pocket
- Conservation is healthy for the environment.
- Reduced energy utilisation both at home and by extension the water utility company
We have to encourage water consciousness within our homes and communities. We can start by following some of this tips and advice on water conservation in our homes.
Choose efficient fixtures
Water conservation is on everyone’s lips. Manufacturers of fixtures and other equipment are constantly improving the effectiveness and water savings of their products. You can reduce your water use by upgrading your fixtures to ‘water conscious’ versions. Efficient shower heads, aerated faucets, low flow toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers with water conservation certification/ratings are just some examples.
That small little drip from a leaky pipe or fixture can add up dramatically. In span of a day, a small drip can waste over 75 litres of water! Check your pipes and faucets for leaks. A qualified plumber can quickly find and fix your leaks, saving you time and money. Some DIY tips on spotting leaks:
- Add some food colorant to your toilet tank. Wait for 30 minutes and see if the colour appears on your toilet bowl.
- Read your water meter over a two-hour period during which you are not using water. If your meter deviates from your initial reading you may have a leak.
Change your habits
Some habits that we practise are extremely wasteful of water. We actually perform these habits unconsciously without due thought to the impact on our water usage. Adopting water-aware routines effectively increases our conservation. Some habits that are due for a makeover include:
- Leaving tap water running while brushing your teeth.
- Do you really have to shower that many times in a week? Do you have to take that long a time in the shower? Skip a shower or two and cut down on your shower durations.
- Stop using your toilet as a trashcan or ashtray.
- Use a bucket or pail when washing your car. Avoid running the hose.
- Do not run your tap for too long when washing dishes or cleaning vegetables.
There are so many ways you can personally adjust to use less water in the house. Just be conscious of your water use and take the steps to adopt water conservative habits. Every small change you make and stick to in the long run translates to impactful water savings.
Harvest rain water
Rain water is the purest form of water. An investment in rain harvesting gear is recouped in the amount of water conserved. Rain water can be redirected to your garden or stored in water tanks for later use.
Recycle and re-use
Not all used water needs to go down the drain. Some of this water could be re-used in another part of the house. An example is re-working you plumbing such that waste or ‘grey’ water is re-channelled for use in flashing toilets. Re-use is subject to local laws, so be informed of yours before delving into this. Indoors water can be recycled to water plants outdoors. With a bit more creativity more ways of recycling and reusing your water can be found.
Water saving in your garden
Your garden consumes the largest percentage of water in your home. Water savings tips abound for your garden. A garden shouldn’t be your top water consumer. You need to rethink your whole garden if it’s topping the water usage charts in your house. The most outlandish idea is to get rid of your entire garden. Some more practical alternatives is to reduce the size, rethink the plants your growing or redo the concept to include landscaping features that don’t use up as much water, such as xeriscapes or rock gardens. On top of these consider the following additional water saving tips for your garden:
- Water your gardens in the mornings. Pot plants are best watered in the afternoon
- Practise deep watering. Aim to soak the roots of plants and not the whole garden.
- Plant groundcover, mulch your garden regularly.
- Consider planting drought resistant plants that need less water. Native plants are a good example.
- Avoid hosing and overhead sprinklers for your gardens. Instead use drip irrigation or a watering can to water the plants yourself.
Maximise every litre of water in your house by using some of the water saving tips discussed here. We provide expert plumbing services and available 24/7 to address all your plumbing queries and problems. We will give your plumbing and expert touch and you perfect peace of mind.