Did you know that 1 in 10 people in the world don’t have access to clean water and that 1 in 3 don’t have access to a toilet? What that means is that life-giving fresh water is in very short supply.
In less developed countries, people trek for hours over hazardous terrain just to fetch water; this water is often contaminated. Waterborne illnesses kill vast numbers of people every day, many of whom are children.
Water Crisis in Our Midst
In 1993, the United Nations had the first World Water Day which now happens every year on March 22. It is a day for people to focus on the water crisis and to become educated about how they can conserve their own water use.
This day has been effective; the UN reports that 2.6 billion more people have access to fresh water since they began their awareness campaign. But with the world population growing and climate change impacting current water levels, more needs to be done.
The theme for World Water Day this year is “Wastewater”. Proper treatment of wastewater will not only reduce disease, but it can also help re-purpose existing water stores for safe use, increasing supply.
Plumbing Leaks Can be a Big Problem
As you work toward reducing your water footprint, know that your plumbing plays a role in how well you can conserve water. Even a small leak loses lots of water. Get in the habit of being a leak detective.
Faucets and showers are easy to spot. You can fix them by changing gaskets or tightening connectors with a wrench, possibly. For more complicated jobs, don’t hesitate to call your plumber.
A leaky toilet can be hard to spot, so here is a trick for you. Drop a dye tablet into your toilet tank. Wait a few minutes. If the color moves into the toilet bowl, you’ve got a leak that you need to fix. Very often it is a broken toilet flapper (the rubber deteriorates over time).
Don’t forget to make sure you don’t have any leaks in your outdoor plumbing too.
General Water Conservation
Want to know how you can make a difference? Reduce your water use at home.
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, washing your hands or shaving; or opt for a quick shower instead of a bath. If you must bathe (i.e. if you’ve got kids) put the plug in before you start the water.
When you wash fruits and vegetables, fill the sink and clean them there rather than under the tap. Steam veggies in a couple of inches of water rather than boiling them. Don’t use the garbage disposal; compost waste instead.
Water your lawn only when necessary; mulch your garden so that it needs less water; use a watering can instead of a hose to water your garden. When you run the garden hose, put a kitchen timer on to remind you to turn it off.