Water is fundamental to life on earth and without it, the world would die. Most of us take water supplies for granted and we rarely think twice about leaving a tap running while our attention is diverted elsewhere. However, water preservation is vital if you live in a part of the world where rainfall is low and water supplies are scarce. Recycling water and using it more efficiently reduces wastage and lessens the effects of a limited supply.
Even if you do not live in the middle of a desert, it is still prudent to think more about water preservation and how much water your family uses on a daily basis. As the human population continues to expand, more and more factors will begin to affect water availability, so practicing some sensible water preservation tips is an ideal way to protect the water supply for future generations.
We use water every day: for washing, laundry, in our gardens, and of course drinking. A great deal of water is routinely wasted through inefficient sanitary fixtures and fittings like toilets. Outside, lawn sprinklers and water hoses use gallons of water during the summer. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to practice water preservation around the home and garden and as long as you remember the simple mantra “use only what you need”, you can’t do any better than that.
Inside the home, duel flush toilets use 67% less water than conventional toilets. For a simple method of saving water, place a brick inside the cistern to instantly halve the amount of water used for flushing. Alternatively, fill a plastic bag with pebbles and use that instead. This easy method will save the average household between 5 and 10 gallons per day.
Don’t leave a tap running while you brush your teeth or shave. For shaving, run a small amount of water into the sink to rinse your razor instead. This will save up to three gallons of water per day.
In the kitchen, washing dishes by hand is the best way, but do not leave the tap running to rinse the dishes—if you have two sinks, fill one with clean water for rinsing the dishes. When cleaning vegetables, rinse them in a pan rather than under a running tap and avoid using a garbage disposal if possible—try composting instead.
In the garden, use plenty of mulch such as bark chippings around plants and shrubs. This will slow down evaporation and you will not need to water the garden as much. Avoid watering your garden during the hot parts of the day as not only will this risk scorching the plants, the water will also evaporate instantly.
If you have a pool, use a pool cover to reduce evaporation of the water when you are not using it. A cover also helps to keep the pool clean and reduces the need for chemicals.
Try using a collection bucket beneath your gutter down-pipe. By collecting rainwater you can recycle it in the garden for watering the plants.
Make sure you don’t leave water hoses running during the summer as these waste huge amounts of water.
Water preservation isn’t rocket science—it is mostly just common sense. By using water wisely, it is the next generation who will benefit.