It is a precious resource that is essential for the environment and the health of us all.
To reach our taps water has to be taken from the natural environment, highly treated, delivered to the places where we want to use it and cleaned again afterwards. The water on earth today is the same water that has always been here. Water is constantly being recycled. There is no new water.
70% of our planet is water, however 97% of the water on earth is salty seawater. Only 3% is fresh and drinkable. But most is locked in ice caps and glaciers so only 1% is fresh drinkable water for every human, land animal and plant to share.
Water is vital for all life. You would survive for less than a week without water. Water is the most natural, healthy thing we can drink, our bodies are 70% water and our brains are 78% water, so it is important to drink water to keep our minds and bodies active.
Every one of us in the north east uses on average 150 litres of water per day. We take water for granted as we have taps to get it straight into our homes and toilets and drains to take it away again after we have used it.
We waste water all the time when:
• We leave the tap running when we brush our teeth we waste 13 litres per person per day - enough to fill a bucket!
• We let the tap run while we are waiting for the hot water to come through.
• We have really long showers.
• We leave taps running or dripping.
• We wash things under a running tap.
• We water our gardens using a sprinkler or when it is sunny.
And in lots more ways.
Wasting energy and chemicals
The more water we use, the more natural resources, chemicals and energy are used to treat and deliver it to us, and to treat it once we have finished with it to make it safe to return to the environment.
Do your bit
• Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth.
• Spend one minute less in the shower.
• Have a shower instead of a bath.
• Put a Save-a-flush in the toilet cistern.
• Use a bowl to rinse your recycling and clean your vegetables, instead of running tap.
• Get a water butt to water the garden.
• Only put the washing machine or dishwasher on when you have a full load.
Saving water makes sense
You could save money if you install a meter, your water bill will reduce if you use less water. Protect the environment - there are direct environmental benefits such as energy and chemicals saved, reduced water treatment and less pollution leading to global warming. Expensive new water abstraction or reservoirs can be avoided or delayed and rivers and wetlands can be improved protecting habitats and biodiversity.
In one day, each of us can flush away more water than some people in the developing world would get in a week. If we also use the toilet to dispose of anything that doesn’t come out of us naturally or toilet roll i.e. if we use the toilet instead of a bin, then we waste even more.
Water is precious, use it, don’t waste it!