How Water Conservation Can Save Money & Help the Environment

water conservationThere are two very important reasons why we should conserve water. One is the obvious money-saving issue, while the second is something that the majority of the general public do not think of nearly enough – the environment.

In the developed world, having easily accessible water is not considered a luxury, but although we take running water for granted, the fact is that less than 1% of all fresh water in the world is easily accessible to humans.

In developing countries, according to UNICEF more than 884 million people lack easy access to safe, clean water, and this number is still growing. This means that only about one in every eight people has water when and where they need it.

Along with this using water, particularly hot water, contributes to global warming by increasing the emissions of greenhouse gases. Furthermore according to the UK Environment Agency the average family in the developed world uses about 500 litres of water per day, which produces around 1.5 tons of greenhouse gasses every year.

In Australia the average family wastes according to the Environment Protection Authority based in Queensland about 60000 litres of water a year, this alarming figure needs to be cut down and it is therefore, extremely important that you try to conserve water. You will find that it pays to save water, and if you follow these five simple tips for water conservation you will soon see your water bills decrease significantly.

For example it may be a well know piece of advice but leaving the water running while you brush your teeth or massage the shampoo into your hair is not only entirely unnecessary, it can also waste hundreds of litres of water. By simply turning off the tap while doing these things, you can save money and the environment.

1. Invest in Water Efficient Shower Heads and Faucets as well as a Low Flow Toilet

According to Environment Canada today, we use nearly 50% more water than we used to. This is partly down to the fact that showers have become more powerful and household appliances use more water to run. Showers and faucets make up about 35% of our total daily water consumption. By using more efficient faucets and shower heads, you can still enjoy your showers, but with the knowledge that you are not using more water than you need to.
Toilets use about 40% of the total daily water consumption in a household. Using a more efficient flush system for your toilet could greatly reduce that percentage and save you a lot of money in the long run.

2. Outside Water Tanks

Collect any rain water that falls (after all its free!) into a water tank to store for use around the garden, this is a great way to save and store water so that it can be used for the gardening or even washing the car therefore saving you from taking the water from the tap.

3. Toilet Gadgets!

Ok so these may not be at the top of many must have gadgets lists but there are an increasing number of gadgets you can use in the tank of your toilet that help to cut down on water supply. Some of these gadgets use polyethylene to reduce the amount of water flushed away and can save up to 2.5 litres per flush! That equates to a lot of saved water by the end of the year!

4. Be Smart when using water in the garden!

Maintaining a garden especially throughout the summer takes up a lot of time and water, however there are ways to limit the water that you do use. As mentioned above outside water tanks help to save but other simple tips such as leaving your grass to go slightly brown or not cutting it short (longer grass needs less water) can save tips. Checking the weather forecast and waiting for rain, using a watering can instead of a hosepipe all saves a lot of water. Finally the planning of your garden to make sure plants get some shade during part of the day is an excellent way to cut down on watering needs

5. Fix Leaks and Insulate Your Homes Water Pipes

You may not think that a leaky faucet or shower head wastes a lot of water, but all those drops add up and a leaky faucet could waste up to 75 litres of water per day. So just imagine how much water a larger leak can waste.

When taking a shower, you probably need to leave the water running for a few minutes to warm up before you get in. By insulating your water pipes, the water will heat up much faster, and you can save water by not leaving the water on for longer than you have to. It also pays to have your water heater checked at least yearly, to ensure that it is working as efficiently as possible.

Source: Get Green (By Trent Bardon, a writer for Sydney Water Tanks)

Rain water harvested and stored in rain water tanks or rain barrels can also be used for household purposes such as flushing toilets, bathing & showering and for washing laundry.  Rainwater can be used for drinking water but appropriate filtration is recommended- either a point-of-use water filter at a faucet or filter all the water as it exits the water tank or rainwater tank.  Grey water irrigation systems can also be installed so that you do not feel too guilty having a longer shower or deeper bath- the water will be used for irrigating your garden or lawn.  In many parts of South Africa, the humble plastic  or poly water tank is a necessity- either for storing rainwater or for periodic refilling by municipal water tankers; these water tanks save money and help the environment too.

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