Water is one of the earth’s most precious resources. We’re accustomed to having clean, reliable drinking water provided to our homes, however as the earth’s climate changes and the world population increases, up to 5.7 billion people could be living in areas where water scarcity will increasingly become a bigger problem. Most of us don’t think much about the dripping faucet, leaky hose, running toilet or swampy sprinkler head we may live with for months. But those continuous forms of water waste add up faster than you might think and contribute to a greater scarcity of our water resources.
No doubt, the most effective way to save water in our daily lives is to upgrade to water efficient fixtures. Nonetheless there are other ways to help decrease the amount of water you use at home. A water efficient home will not only help an owner save money; it will help preserve water. Furthermore, to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps protect water resources and prevent water pollution in nearby local watersheds. Conserving water also prevents greenhouse gas emissions associated with the energy requirements for treating and distributing water.
Testing your water efficiency at home
Saving water can make a big difference to your family and to the whole world. A little bit together, saves a lot for each other.
There are plenty of ways to reduce your water consumption without compromising quality of life. By making some simple changes, we can help to make sure there’s enough water to go around in the future.
Water efficiency in the home can be tested as an entire household, or by measuring the flow rates of your separate devices, like a showerhead or your toilet flushing. You can test water efficiency by checking flow rates of your water devices. Take your kitchen faucet as an example. Place a 1-litre jug under the faucet and get ready to measure how long it takes to fill. Water efficiency is measured in litres/minute. So, if it takes 10 seconds to fill a 1-litre jug, the total water flow in 60 seconds will amount to 6 litres. Therefore, that a flow rate of 6 litres/minute! As an indication, a very efficient kitchen faucet has a flow rate of less than 4.5 litres / minute. Anything over 7 litres per minute is considered a very high flow rate and therefore not efficient. In other words, it makes sense to change the device. This test can be carried out on showerheads, kitchen and bathroom faucets. To measure the efficiency of your toilet cistern, measure the volume of your flushing tank in litres. Time how long it takes to fill, divide that by the number of litres in your tank, and then follow the same steps outlined earlier. As a guide, an efficient flushing tank should have a flow rate of less than 4.5.
Furthermore, general household efficiency can be checked by visiting www.wsc.com.mt, pressing on the ‘View Live Map’ button, register using your e-ID, and finally pressing on the ‘Show My Water Consumption’ button. This information on water use in your household is provided on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Once you have your daily consumption figure, divide that by the number of people in your household. As an indication for a household of 4, water consumption below 41 litres per person, per day is considered very efficient; anything above 95 litres per person per day is considered high and therefore you can easily become more water-efficient!
Monitoring your water consumption will stop the waste
You will also want to check the efficiency of your individual water devices at home. The reason for this is that some devices might have high flow rates, which is not needed thus leading to waste. A high flow rate in your kitchen sink doesn’t help make your dishes cleaner, it just wastes more water while you’re doing the washing up. Should you have higher flow rates on any faucets in your home, please consider getting aerators for your taps. These reduce the flow rate without sacrificing pressure and are a much more efficient way of consuming water at home. Water consumption in flushing tanks can be reduced by installing a water displacement bag in the tank. A displacement bag is being distributed as part of the ‘Water Be The Change’ Conservation kits.
If you are not monitoring how water is consumed at home, you could be vulnerable to more than just water waste. When you track water usage amongst your family, you become more aware of how you use it and ways you can reduce consumption. Monitoring shows the consumption of water you are aware of, as well as the water you didn’t know you used – which is incredibly important to your home.
Adding good habits to your daily routine
It goes without saying that the most effective way to save water is to upgrade to water-efficient fixtures nevertheless there are other ways to help reduce the amount of water you use at home. These simple tips for water conservation in our daily life can help to effectively tackle the problems related to water shortage:
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth and save up to 15 litres a minute. That’s up to 760 litres a week for a family of four.
- Place a container displacement device in your toilet cistern
- Take a shorter shower – try to keep this under 4 minutes
- Always use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher
- Fix a dripping tap
- Group plants with the same watering need together to avoid overwatering some while underwatering others.
While you may not be able to implement all these suggestions which we have mentioned, even adding one of them to your daily routine can allow you to save many litres of water in your household every year and contribute to the water savings of your whole community.
Unfortunately, we are living in a world that due to climate change and an increasing population is facing an ever-increasing water crisis. Comprehending where and how much water we use is the first step in beginning to conserve one of our most precious natural resources. Anyone interested in learning more about their water consumption and how to become more efficient and conserve water can visit the water.org.mt website to get useful water-saving tips and even book a house visit for tailored advice on becoming more efficient.