Urban water efficiency is as important as ever. With more severe weather events such as droughts occurring more regularly there is less and less water supply security. Plus with cities growing at a rapid pace there are more and more people demanding water and relying upon the municipal water supply. So if there are more people and less secure water supplies what can we do?
We can try reducing the average water usage per person, that’s what. If every household pitches in to reduce their water use in the kitchen, bathroom and garden we’ll save a lot of water and improve our water security.
The house in general
Let’s start with the house in general. Plumbing leaks can account for a lot of water use. If you have old plumbing, notice increased water use without obvious reason or notice water use whilst away on holiday you might have a plumbing leak. If you suspect you have a water leak you should get a plumber in to check your pipes. Fixing a leak saves valuable water and stops your paying for water you don’t use. Stopping your money going down the drain (sorry about the pun).
Moving on to the kitchen but sticking with leaks, make sure you fix leaking washers. A dripping tap can waste a lot of water unnecessarily, again you money just going down the drain.
If you use a dishwasher try ensure the machine is as water efficient as possible. Consider replacing old model dishwashers with newer more efficient models. When purchasing a new machine ensure you purchase with water efficiency in mind and pay attention to the water efficiency rating stickers on the machine front.
Taking baths is less water efficient than taking showers unless you are having a really long shower. You can try sharing bath water with other members of your family but generally showering is better for hygiene and water efficiency. Fitting a water saving shower head to your shower will also help your water efficiency and allow you to have a great shower while using less water.
Toilets should be dual flush and low flow. Though some models in some houses do not put enough water down to clear plumbing. If plumbing problems occur simply always use the higher flush level. You’ll still be saving water compared to older models.
Washing machines should be purchased with water efficiency in mind. Again pay attention to the water-rating sticker on the front of a new purchase. Try to use any water saving functions as often as possible.
Underground irrigation is a great way to save water and get the most from your water. Underground irrigation gets water straight to the source, the roots of your plants and lawn. Timers can also be fitted to ensure watering isn’t run for too long. Also timers ensure watering occurs at the best time, early morning and early evening, so water isn’t lost to too much evaporation from the heat of the sun.
If you can’t install irrigation systems in your garden consider using a watering can or low flow hose fitting to water plants and the lawn.
If we all pitch in together we can reduce the pressure on our limited water resources, increase our water security and have cool fresh water for generations to come.