Water is a resource that we tend to take for granted far too much. As water is essentially available “on tap” whenever and wherever we need it, it’s a key resource that we can be incredibly wasteful of…without even realising it!
Each person in Ireland consumes approximately 150 litres of water every day. To put that into perspective, that’s two whole bathtubs full of water.
What is most alarming about this significant daily consumption of water is that a large portion of the water consumption is wastage. How can we be wasting so much water? It’s a lot easier than you might think.
Here are some of the most common causes:
Wasted waste water
We heavily rely on fresh water for uses where recycled wastewater would suffice. Brushing our teeth, flushing the toilet and washing vegetables are tasks that should all be conducted using waste water.
Water wastage could be significantly reduced if we increased our consumption of recycled waste water. Waste water treatment systems can naturally recycle waste water by reinvigorating ground water with treated effluent.
If you shower for more than 5 minutes, you’re wasting anywhere between 5 and 10 gallons of water per additional minute.
While we enjoy power showers, a low-flow or low-power shower head significantly reduces water consumption while cutting your typical shower length by even 1 minute can save approx. 150 gallons of water this month.
Car & garden maintenance
An incredible amount of water is wasted on maintenance of gardens, lawns, yards and vehicles. Washing the car can consume over 300 litres of water! While water consumption from watering the lawn will vary depending on the size of your lawn, the sheer frequency of irrigation that your lawn requires to thrive means that it is a consistent drain on your water supply.
It’s best to try to conserve rainwater and utilise that for such purposes as they do not specifically require the treated water from your tap.
A constant dribble from your boiler, a leaking hose in the yard, a crack in a pipe, small pools of water each time the tap runs, a dampness in your ceiling – these are all things which should not be ignored – and not just for infrastructural reasons!
Not only can leaks lead to a build-up of mould and structural damage but they are also a consistent drain on your water supply.
Doing the dishes
While it may seem like washing the dishes by hand rather than loading the dishwasher may be the better option as there is less energy consumption, there can be a significant difference in the level of water consumption.
If you leave the water running as you wash your dishes by hand, taking time to scrap off any food embedded, you can waste as much as 150 litres of water each time you need to clean your crockery. Using an electric dishwasher, on the other hand, may consume less than 40 litres for a typical load.
By committing yourself to reducing water consumption in any of the 5 aforementioned areas, you can play a big part in reducing the drain on one of earths most in demand resources.