Water is a basic necessity and survival commodity not just for us humans but also other fellow creatures on our beautiful planet like plants and animals. Saving water is important not just for a household or any commercial sector, but it is a universal responsibility of every individual in the world to save and conserve water where ever possible and to minimise the waste. We use water for a lot of things every day, so much so that we almost take it for granted and never realise its importance. We use water without even realising that we are doing it and do not give it the value it deserves. However, if we continue using or wasting the water like we are now, there will come a time when there will be very little or no water for the future generations to use from. Therefore, it is important to realise how important it is to learn how to save water and bring it into practice. Understandably, usage of water in the industrial and commercial sector is much more, but even if we make little contributions in our households, it will make a big impact. So, it’s not about how little or how big of a difference we can make, but rather what matters is that if every single person contributes towards saving water, every little effort will make a big overall impact. We depend on water every day for a lot of things. But the world’s population is growing fast and climatic change is bringing risks of floods and droughts all over the world, which has resulted in more pressure on the supply of water. This, in turn, means less availability of water to go around. We all have a responsibility to use less water by making little changes to our routine lives which would help in reducing the wastage of water and each individual set a target of saving water every day. In this article, we are giving you some useful and easy tips on how to save water and how you can reduce water waste in your home and garden.

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Why Save Water?

Before we start on how to save water, we must first understand why it is so important to reduce the wastage of water. Here are a few reasons why: Water is Life Water is a survival commodity and we all need water to stay alive. Humans, plants and animals all need water to live. Moreover, water maintains the life cycle between all the living beings in the world. The plants we eat in the form of fruits and vegetables and the oxygen we get from them need water to grow and stay healthy. Food and Health We all know that we need water to grow crops and the supply of food chain also requires water. So, reducing water waste means that we are preserving our food supply for the future. Also, inadequate food and water shortage means a rise in illnesses and poor health. For Reuse We save water so that we can have more water for reuse. When we use water, it gets treated for future use but it might not be the same quality. Therefore, to have water in the future we must use less water now to avoid getting in a situation where there be no water or even a draught. Hygiene Reasons We need water to stay clean, take showers, wash dishes and clothes and to keep our environment clean. These are also the reasons why we waste so much water every day. So, if we focus on using less water and only when we need it, we can save more water for future usage. Drinking Purpose Water sustains life. Without drinking water, we humans will die in only a few days. Water helps maintain many of our body functions such as working of kidneys, keeping us hydrated, maintaining fluids in our body and controlling calories. Keeps Pollution at Bay Water is the beauty of our planet and helps to keep the pollution level low. Also, plants and trees survive on water which also helps in maintaining greenery and keeping pollution at bay. For Sewage Every time we use the toilet, the flush takes away waste to the drainage system where it goes to the sewage and its property disposed of from there. Could you imagine having a sewage system without water? Saving Water Saves Electricity This clever little trick works in two ways. The clean and treated water we use in our homes (that is fit for drinking) requires a huge amount of electricity to get treated before it comes to us. Thus, if we reduce the wastage of water, less energy will be required to treat water and we can save loads of electricity. Also, water helps in producing hydroelectricity, so using less water means that we can save some water which can then be used to make energy. Saving Communities Saving water means saving communities. When we make a habit of saving water where we can help services like fire brigade, hospitals and cleaners which need water to perform their duties, to survive and continue serving our communities. Recreational Purposes Water is also used for a lot of recreational purposes such as swimming pools and water parks. So, if we use water wisely, we will have more of these facilities for entertainment. Savings in Bills We all know that when we use less water, we also save the money we pay on our water bills. So, to save money we need to save water. Whether we have a water meter or a fixed contract with the water supply company, we can still save money by reducing our water usage.

Saving Water in Kitchen

We use a lot of water for different purposes in the kitchen, without realising how much we have used. Here are a few tips on how to save water in the kitchen. Washing Fruits and Vegetable When you are washing fruits and vegetables, use a bowl to soak them in water and rinse with the same water. We waste more water when we put them directly under the running tap. This water is still clean or maybe a little bit muddy so, once the fruits and vegetables are washed, use it to water the plants. Use a Jug for Drinks Most of the time the water in the kitchen tap is warm or hot wash dishes we warm water. So, when we want a drink, we waste some water before cold water starts coming in. We can reduce wasting water by keeping a bottle or a jug of water in the fridge. So that, rather than running the water in the tap while waiting for cold water, we can just take out the bottle or jug and drink from there. Washing Clothes It’s economical in terms of saving electricity as well as water to wait until we have a full load of washing before using the washing machine. New washing machines use a little under 7 litres of water for just one KG of clothes. We can reduce this wastage of water by only doing a full load of washing. Moreover, it will save a lot of electricity too, as the washing machine would do a full washing cycle even if there are only a couple of items. Using Dish Washer The same principle applies to the dishwasher. When we are using the dishwasher to wash our dishes, it’s practical and economical to do it when the machine is fully loaded as it will save, time, energy and water. A modern dishwasher used up to 10-15 litres of water per cycle. Imagine running a dishwasher for a couple of cups and glasses! Using a Washing-up Bowl By using a washing-up bowl rather than letting the water run while you wash, can reduce the amount of water wastage by up to 50%. Let your dishes soak in and turn the tap off while you put soap on them. Boiling Kettle Many people have the habit of filling the kettle to the top when they only need to boil one cup of water. Next time, the remaining water often gets thrown away as there could be bits of scale in it. Therefore, we can save at least a few cups of water every day if we only boil only as much as we need. This is what the markings on the kettles are for. Steam Your Vegetables Boiling vegetables will use a lot more water compared to steaming them. So, next time you are doing your vegetables, consider this alternative. Aim to boil them only when you need to, saving water in the long run. Don’t Waste Food You might be thinking “how it is related to saving water?”, and you’d be right to think so! It takes a lot of water to grow fruits, vegetables and other food items that we eat. When we waste food we are wasting the water that was used to grow them. By saving the food, we’re saving water which means we’re saving money. Water for Plants We can save a few litres of water every day if we conserve the water we use. Some examples are the water left over after washing a few things in the kitchen or the leftover water in the bath (a long hose from the bath out of the window can do the trick. Put one end in the bath, suck on the other with a sharp inhale and you’ll see the magic of physics empty the bath through the hosepipe!). When we wash glasses, which are usually not very dirty, this water can be saved by keeping a washing bowl inside the sink and can be used to water the indoor plants.

Saving Water in Bathroom

We all have some bad habits when it comes to using water in the bathroom. Check out a few tips that will help to reduce the wastage of water in the bathroom! Brushing Teeth This is a common bad habit in most of us. When we brush our teeth, we let the water run which only goes to waste. So, if you have this habit too, it’s time to unlearn it. Adults, as well as children, must be encouraged to save water by turning the tap off while brushing their teeth. According to research, a running tap wastes up to 9 litres of water in one minute. Shaving The same rule applies for shaving too. Turn the tap off while you are shaving. Fill a little bit of water in the sink or in a cup designated for this purpose, to rinse your razor every time you need to. Take A Shower Not Bath If possible, take a shower instead of a bath. A bath uses about 80 litres of water, which is double the amount of a 5-minute shower. It is said that an average shower should last about 4 minutes. Also, turn the shower off when applying body wash and shampoo to save water. Spend Less Time in Shower If we spend less time in the shower, we’ll save a lot of water every day. If one person spends one less minute in the shower, they will save about 9 litres. In a family of 4 persons, if each person spends one less minute in the shower, its 36 litres saved in one day! Water-Saving Cistern Use a water-saving device for the cistern in your toilet. A water-saving device can save between 1-3 litres of water for every time the flush is used. An economical alternative for this is using an empty water bottle. Fill the bottom of the bottle with pebbles and fill the rest with water. Place it in the toilet tank, away from the flushing system. Now, every time you flush you will save lots of water. Low-Flushing Toilet Another way of saving water in the toilet is by using a dual-flush system, which uses about 4-6 litres of water per flush compared to 13 litres in the old-fashioned flush. So, if you are planning on redoing your bathroom, this is a good alternative to consider for saving water every time you flush. Don’t Use Toilet As A Bin Some of us have the habit of throwing cigarette butts and hair into the toilet and flush it away. However, our toilet is not a bin and this rubbish must be disposed of properly not in the toilet. Leave your toilet water to do what it is meant to do. Leaks in Plumbing Regularly checking and amending any leaks in plumbing in the pipes and taps in the bathroom as well as in the kitchen also reduces the wastage of water to a considerable extent. Waterpebble If possible, get a water-saving device for your shower. A Waterpebble monitors your shower time and tells you when its time to come out of the shower. It works with a sensor which starts flashing after 4 minutes indicating you to step out. Water Saving Shower Heads You can install shower head restrictors that restricts or lowers water flow in the shower. These can be found easily at any hardware or plumbing stores. (source: https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/households/conservingwater/watersavingtips/ https://www.unitedutilities.com/help-and-support/save-water/water-saving-tips/)

Saving Water in Garden and Driveway

It is equally important to reduce the waste of water in the garden as it is for indoor usage. Here are some tips on how to save water in the garden: Using a Watering Can Using a watering can instead of a hosepipe or a sprinkler reduces wasting water to a great extent. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes use about 500-1000 litres of water per hour. On the other hand, a watering can will only take up to a few litres of water, even if it is refilled a few times. Collecting Rainwater Consider collecting rainwater off the roof of your house using a water butt. A water butt can store about 200 litres of water which can serve a lot of your gardening purposes. Also, this water is better for the growth of your plants than the treated tap water we use. Watering Plants During Cooler Hours If we water plants early morning or late afternoon, there will be less evaporation and hence, water wastage will be less. Also, this is good for the health of the plants as they may get burned, especially in hot weather when we water them in bright sunlight. Drought-Resistant Plants Plan your garden such that you have more drought-resistant and evergreen plants that require less water and are also easy to maintain. These can be Lavender, cactus or palm trees. They not only look beautiful but are also water saving. Using Mulch Using a layer of mulch over the soil will help retain the moisture for longer, thus saving water. It is also a good tip for keeping the weeds away. Weeding Weeds use moisture and nutrients from the plants, making them require more water. So, if we weed our garden regularly, the plants will have more water for themselves and will be healthier. Watering the Grass When the weather is harsh in winters your garden grass will become yellow anyway, so you can save a lot of water by not watering it when it doesn’t need it. Also, in rainy weather when it rains every other day you don’t need to water it yourself. The rainwater is better for you grass and plants than the treated water. Watering the Roots When you do water your grass and plants, pour the water so that it reaches the roots. Just sprinkling on top will not be enough for the green life and you will be watering them ore than required, hence wasting water. Sweeping Patio and Driveway Rather than using a jet wash or hosepipe for getting rid of dead leaves and mud from patio and driveway, we can simply sweep the floor. It will save a lot of water. Sponge Clean Your Car A hosepipe used about 16 litres of water in one minute. If we use a bucket and sponge for cleaning the car instead of a hosepipe, we will be reducing water waste. If the bucket water is not too soapy by the end of the wash, it can be used to water the plants. Once you’re at the end of washing your car, don’t rinse it with water from the hose. Use a watering can and pour rainwater over your car. It’ll dry streak-free, and save money! (Source: https://www.southernwater.co.uk/help-advice/how-to-save-water-in-the-garden)

How to Save Water While Cleaning

We need to be creative to save water while cleaning our house without compromising on the quality of our cleanliness. Some easy ways of saving water while cleaning are below.

  • For cleaning kitchen and bathroom countertops, take some water in a small basin or bowl to rinse the sponge or cloth that you are using for cleaning. Rather than washing it under a running tap, the bowl water can be used for washing and rinsing every time it gets dirty.
  • Use a bucket for mopping the floors. Rather than washing the mop cloth under the tap every few minutes, it is more water-saving to rinse the mop in the bucket every time. Do the mop only when you need to, for example when there is visible dirt or stains on the floor.
  • For hard to clean utensils for example if a baking tray or a cooking pot that needs a lot of cleaning, soak them in water with a little bit of washing up liquid overnight and wash them in the morning. This way, you will save a lot of water and effort that will be consumed while scrubbing the items. In the morning, grease or burnt food will come off easily without using a lot of water.
  • The above technique can also be used for cleaning other appliances such as oven grills and racks, fridge drawers and vegetable boxes etc. Although it is important to clean them regularly, this can be done by wiping them with a soapy sponge and then wiping again with a clean cloth.
  • For drinking water, whether we use a glass or water bottle, it can be reused a few times if it’s being used by a single person. A lot of us have the habit of drinking from the glass once and leaving it to be washed. We can save water by reusing our glass unless it’s dirty.

Water Saving Tips for Children

The importance of saving water must start from early ages, although it is never too late to learn anything good at any part of our lives. Just like learning everything else, water-saving tips must also start at home. Children must be encouraged to save the most important natural resource of the planet by adults at home as well as at school. If these things are taught at a young age, the children will turn into responsible and knowledgeable individuals as they grow up. Some of the simple things that children can be taught at home are below. Baths For Babies Older children or toddlers can be taught that baths are for small babies and as they grow older, they must be switched to showers. They must be encouraged to quick showers to save water. Turn The Faucets Off Tightly Children must be encouraged to turn off the faucets while brushing their teeth, and once they have finished with the water turn off the faucet tightly to avoid any dripping. Watering the Plants Children can be taught to spill their leftover drinks of water in the plants or grass rather than dropping them in the sink. Children usually enjoy these little activities and they will happily do that. Sprinklers We all know how much children love playing with water in summers. They would look for any excuse to have a go with the sprinkler or hosepipe in the garden just so they can have a play. But this can be alternated by some other activities which the children will enjoy equally and will be water-saving too. For example, how about replacing sprinkler with water guns or water balloons? It will save a lot of water and will be equally fun!

Some Useful Tips on How to Save Water During COVID-19

As all of us are being extra careful of hygiene and cleanliness in the house due to the outbreak of the pandemic, it is even more important now that we learn some tips on reducing water waste. Here are some tips on how to save water during coronavirus outbreak: Washing Hands We all know now that the recommended time of washing hands with soap and water is 20 seconds. Imagine how much water we will waste if we do this exercise several times in a day! On top of that, if we have many people at home, this amount would multiply. The best way of reducing water waste is to do it properly, without having to reduce the length of the recommended time. This can be done in these simple steps: 1 of 3: Wet your hands then turn off the tap. 2 of 3: Apply soap and rub between your fingers, on your palms and the back of your hands for 20 seconds. 3 of 3: Turn the tap back on again and rinse your hands. Turn the tap off and shake your hands then wipe them dry. In this method, you have saved wasting running water for at least 20 seconds or even more if we take into account the additional seconds when we took the soap out and before starting to rub. Taking A Shower Taking regular showers, especially when you come in from outside is important during the pandemic. However, we can reduce the amount of water we use for each shower if we only take a quick shower each time. A quick shower is roughly 4 minutes long which is enough to wash away any germs on our body. Also, remember to turn the shower off while washing yourself with soap. Washing Clothes If you have been outside its best to change clothes as soon as you come back in and not to wear them again without washing. However, you do not need to wash your clothes separately from the rest of the laundry. Washing detergent and water wash away all the germs even if you wash your ‘outside’ clothes with the others. So, it’s best to wait for a full load then add all clothes together in the washing machine to save water as well as electricity. Also, they don’t need to be washed at a higher temperature. A normal washing cycle of 30 degrees is good enough to kill the germs and viruses and will also save hot water.

Some Interesting Facts Regarding Water

Here are some fun things regarding water which will give us more encouragement for saving water and being more conscious when using it the next time:

  • Water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface.
  • When it comes to the importance of natural resources, water comes next to only air. However, it is a finite commodity. So, we must use it carefully to avoid a shortage in the future.
  • 5% of the water in on our planet is in the form of seas and oceans, which is too salty for consumption.
  • From the remaining 2.5%, most of it is in the form of glaciers. This means that we humans have very little water fit for consumption.
  • Out of which, only 1.1% of that water is fit for drinking.
  • An average person drinks about 1000 litres of water per year.
  • Most of the water for our daily use such as washing, cleaning and drinking come from lakes and rivers or reservoirs.
  • According to the UK Environment Agency, England will be facing a shortage of water by 2050. So, we need to take this matter seriously and focus on saving water as much as we can.
  • Many people in less developed and poor countries do not have access to save and clean drinking water. Therefore, water is a precious resource which must not be taken for granted and must be used with great care.

(Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/fascinating-and-strange-facts-about-water, https://friendsoftheearth.uk/)