Why Do We Need To Save Water?
Fresh water is the most essential ingredient for life on Earth, and is our most precious resource. As a human race, we don't just rely on it for drinking and eating but use it in almost everything we do: construction, transport, energy and more.
In the Western world, it is easy to take clean water for granted as it just magically appears in abundance from our taps, but behind the scenes our fresh water source is becoming more and more depleted.
Although water covers three quarters of our Earth's surface, the fresh water we all depend on makes up only 1% of this water.
Australia has been in drought for the past decade, with many calling it the worst drought in living memory. Wreaking havoc on communities, farmers, animals, and the environment, lack of rainfall has been hitting new records each year. Our water reservoirs and natural basins are drying up and some communities in Australia have already started running out of drinking water. Drought is just one affect we're seeing from Climate Change, and it's not looking like it's going to get better any time soon.
Despite living on the driest continent on the planet (and it's only getting worse), Australians are one of the most carefree water users on the planet. We need to become more conscious of our water usage and become experts at conserving it!
How to Easily Reduce Water Use and Save Money!
The best news is that reducing your household water use is super easy and you'll save money at the same time 😊
1. The Classic Toilet Water Saving Technique Is Still Awesome
It's crazy that, of all the clean water we use in developed countries, only 1% of it is actually used for drinking! And approximately 27% of our city's purified water is being flushed down the toilet - literally!
Depending on your toilet, you could be wasting anywhere from 4 to 11 litres of water EVERY FLUSH. If you have an old system you could choose to replace your system with a low-flow model. At the very least you should have a dual flush system so you can use a half-flush for liquid waste, which doesn't require much water at all to get the job done! But even then, a half flush still usually uses at least 3-4 litres of fresh water...
Following is a DIY toilet water reduction method:
Take your toilet water saving into your own hands and use this easy DIY trick: re-purpose an empty plastic bottle or glass jar into a "spacer" in your toilet's water tank. To do this, fill the bottle/jar with water or pebbles (to keep it from floating), remove the lid from your toilet's cistern and place the bottle in the water reservoir. This will displace water and trick the mechanism into using less water on each flush!
2. The Toilet Water Saving Technique You Never Thought Of...
Image from Up On The Rooftop
This may sound a little crazy at first if you've never heard of this but hear us out!
Worm juice (aka worm wee) is a very popular and beneficial garden fertiliser, but have you ever thought of using your own pee? Yep, urine is a valuable source of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous that your garden would LOVE, but we're wasting it - along with clean water - down the toilet.
Saving your urine doesn't have to be as tasking or gross as it sounds, and will give you a valuable resource (free fertiliser) while saving another (water)! The average person could save around 40L of treated water a day just from not using it to whisk away their wee.
Our lovely friends at Up On The Rooftop who supply our Waterpot Ollas and Root Pouches recently did an awesome, comprehensive article on Pee Power that we would love you to check out!
3. Bathroom Water-Saving Modifications
Image from WaterPeek
Low-flow shower heads and low-flow faucets are small bathroom swaps that can make a big difference. A running tap can use 16L per minute, and we really don't need that heavy a water flow for washing our hands or brushing our teeth!
It goes without saying that taking shorter showers (aim for 4 minutes or less) and turning the tap off while brushing your teeth are very easy habits we can implement that add up over time!
A bathroom rinse cup is an easy solution to make a big impact on the amount of water used for regular brushing and flossing of teeth.
Water Reuse Systems for Garden Watering and Toilet Flushing
One of the best household modifications you can make is to install a greywater system to get a second use of the water used in the bathroom and laundry to water your garden.
Rainwater tank and grey water systems can both flush toilets and water gardens.
Other home wastewater systems include Aerobic Treatment Units (ATU's) and reed based systems to filter all household water including blackwater (toilet waste) for use on gardens.
Just think of all that perfectly clean drinking water that goes straight down the shower drain while you're waiting for the hot water to kick in... Just make sure you're using greywater-safe products - avoid the nasty chemicals and go for natural cleaning and personal care alternatives.
4. Water-Saving Outdoors
If you have a swimming pool, keep a cover on it whenever you can to reduce evaporation and the need to refill.
And when it comes to watering your garden (manually or via an automated sprinkler system), make sure it's before 7am or after 7pm. This will make sure you're getting the most out of that water and it's actually reaching your plants' roots and not just instantly evaporating in this hot Aussie air.
Water wise irrigation equipment includes dripper lines, deep drip stakes and Rain Bird nozzles.