World Water Day: Why Waste Water?

Today is World Water Day and the theme this year revolves around the waste of water in the world. A report released by the United Nations warns that a quarter of the world’s children will be at risk from water scarcity by the year 2040. This is something that most people are not aware of. Water is not only vital for us as humans, but also a staple in every economic system. Crops that feed the animals that produce substance for us, need water. Yet, we waste water without even knowing it sometimes. Why?

Fresh water is a vital resource for the survival of our population. Seeing as less than 1% of the world’s water is freshwater and available for us to consume (not trapped in glaciers), there are limitations that factor into our carrying capacity as a population on Earth including the availability and distribution of freshwater. Different countries are endowed with different stocks of freshwater, and depending on their replenishment rate and usage rate, each has varying degrees of water scarcity that needs to be addressed.

Wasting water in a country where it may appear water just magically comes out of the tap (i.e. Canada, the U.S., most developed countries), is wasting a precious, vital resource that millions  don’t even have clean, safe access to. Furthermore, in places where clean water is scarce, overusing or wasting household water limits the availability of it for other communities to use for drinking, cleaning, cooking or growing—and thus contributes to disease, illness or agricultural scarcity.

World Water Day, why waste water

You could tack on the economic incentive to save water as it means lower household water utility bills, one of the largest incentives for water-wise individuals or households to conserve water. Most species rely on freshwater as a vital component to their survival. Overuse of freshwater in household settings means there is less fresh water for agricultural use (which affects humans on an food scarcity level), but many livestock species rely on freshwater. Also, as we divert more freshwater from aquatic environments to supplement agriculturally, many plant and animal species are threatened or can become endangered. Despite our attempts to separate man from nature, we are indeed part of one ecosystem and reliant on plants and animals; therefore sharing and properly managing our most precious resource is crucial.

Furthermore, and almost most importantly, water takes a lot of energy, time and money to filter and clean so that it’s drinkable. Wasting water or overusing household water means you’re wasting the energy-intensive process of filtration. The many steps of this process—extraction, transportation, filtration, etc.—require non-renewable fossil fuels and as these resources become depleted, their dangerous by-products such as carbon dioxide build up in the Earth’s atmosphere, contributing to your carbon footprint and the Earth’s rising temperatures.

10 Ways To Avoid Wasting Precious Water:

  1. Do not over-water plants and lawns. Avoid water runoff into streets and gutters.
  2. For best results, try morning watering. Evaporation loss is at a minimum.
  3. Avoid washing down paved areas. Sweep driveway and sidewalks in garden cleanup.
  4. When washing the car…Use a bucket of water. Use the hose only to rinse.
  5. Repair faucet leaks. As much as 15 gallons of water can be lost each day with a slow drip.
  6. Avoid toilet water waste. Do not use toilet as a trash disposal.
  7. Don’t fall asleep in the shower. An extra five minutes in the shower could mean another 50 gallons down the drain. Use a moderate stream.
  8. The automatic dishwasher – use it wisely. Half loads cheat you out of full water use.
  9. Watch those laundry loads, too. Some 50 gallons of water are used to wash a load of clothes. Make every load count.
  10. Avoid the running faucet. Don’t run water continuously while shaving, brushing teeth, peeling vegetables, or washing dishes.We hope this was helpful and look forward to a world where everyone has access to fresh, clean water.