Our water consumption level peaks during the summer either because we need to hose our gardens, take more baths or wash more clothes. During the summer we even need more water for drinking purposes. While we can’t (and shouldn’t!) cut down on the water we drink to keep ourselves hydrated, we can make some changes to save water that we use in our homes for other purposes.
Whether you want to save water because of financial reasons or environmental reasons, the following tricks on how to conserve water can reduce both your water bills and your water footprint.
- Think about water as a precious resource
Often, just thinking about the water scarcity issue that we face can prompt you to be more careful about how you use water. The World Health Organisation estimates that a person needs around 26.5 litres of water daily to meet drinking, cooking and hygiene related needs. Compared to this number, on average, an American resident uses about 378 litres of water daily, while a European resident uses only half. A resident of sub-Saharan Africa uses 7.5 to 18 litres of water daily. Regions with freshwater shortages don’t have the luxury to waste water heedlessly.
- Identify your largest water consumers
Indoor water consumption accounts for approximately 70% of our water consumption. Older toilet models can consume 13 to 18 litres of water. If you think this is the case in your home, you can upgrade to newer models, which use only 4.5 to 6.4 litres of water. Making this switch can reduce your home water consumption with at least 20%. Leaky toilets can also waste a lot of water, so make sure you check if your toilet is leaky. Same goes for leaky faucets.
Showering and bathing account for around 18% of our water consumption, so this is an area where you can make some changes too. Switch from bathing to showering, and if possible, switch off the shower when soaping up, and take shorter showers.
When buying new appliances, always buy water efficient dishwashers and washing machines.
- Apply best practices
Shaving or washing your teeth? Don’t let the faucet run. When watering the garden, do it in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid quick evaporation. Even better: harvest rainwater and use that for watering your plants. Make tap water your primary source of hydration. If you’re worried about the quality of your tap water, get it tested and install a water filter to eliminate contaminants. Switching from bottled water to filtered water will reduce your carbon footprint, while also saving you money.
There are many other ways to save water in your home, you only have to get creative. You’ll not only save more money with most practices, but you’ll also do a lot to reduce your water footprint.