Water may be everywhere, but not all of it is drinkable. Water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface (mostly in oceans and other large bodies of water). 97% of all the water on Earth is salt water found in seas and oceans. The rest is fresh water found in places like rivers, streams, glaciers, lakes, and even underground.
Fresh water is a renewable resource that is made possible through the water cycle.
Some fresh water may contain bacteria and viruses that cause disease. It may be polluted by pesticides and fertilizer in runoff from crop irrigation or it may contain toxic chemicals from factories. Thus, the water we use should be protected from pollution and wastage.
Water conservation of potable water means reducing leaks, reducing the amount of water we use, and preventing pollution of our water and the water system we depend on.
Unfortunately, a lot of people in the world do not have access to safe drinkable water. They may have to walk far to to fill a bucket of water or they drink dirty water that makes them sick. If you have water at home, from your faucet, you are one of the fortunate ones.
It is estimated that:
- 69% of worldwide water use is for irrigation.
- 15% of worldwide water use is industrial
- 15% of worldwide water use is for household purposes.
The demand for fresh water is increasing. The increasing population is putting pressure on the present water supply.
12 Ways to Conserve Water
So what are the best ways you can help conserve water in your homes? Here are 12 ways to conserve water.
- Upgrade to efficient fixtures.
- Don’t use the toilet like a wastebasket to flush used facial tissue or even cigarette butts. This is a waste of water.
- Install low or dual flush models. These toilets can help you cut indoor water use by 30%.
- Install composting toilets. These toilets require no water at all, and keep all the nutrients and pollutants out of waterways.
- Use clothes washers for full loads or adjust the water levels to match the size of the load.
- Consider getting a high efficiency washing machine. They use 35%-50% less water and 50% less energy per load.
- Turn off the shower while you are soaping and turn it back on to rinse. You can also install a simple shower time, water-saving shower heads, and a low-flow faucet aerators. They are easy to install and prevent long showers which can use 5-10 gallons of water. Installation of these can mean 2.5 gallons of water less will be used each time.
- Fit faucets with aerators. These are easy and cheap to install.
- Turn of the water after you wet your toothbrush. Fill a glass with water for mouth rinsing.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks. A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day; larger leaks hundreds of gallons.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing. If you have a double-basin fill one with soap water and the other with rinse water. If you have one sink, soap first then rinse.
- Recycle water where you can.
Activity: Create your own saving water campaign slogan. Make a poster for your slogan to promote saving water at school.