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Save water, save the earth

Child playing with water hoseAs Earth Day approaches, we should all ponder as to how we can help save the earth. And one of the biggest problems our planet is facing today is water shortage. The Earth?s surface is 75% water ? that?s why it`s called the blue planet. However, only about 1% of this water is freshwater ? water that is available for our daily needs.

An editorial in Nature last month gives the following food (or shall we say – drink?) for thought:

  • Over a billion people in this planet do not have access to safe drinking water.
  • One of the biggest users of freshwater is the agricultural industry. However, it?s not crops that need the most water, it?s actually livestock. To produce 1 kg of wheat, we need about 1550 liters of water; to produce 1 kg of industrial of beef, we need about 10 times as much.
  • Another big water user are the energy providers. The US uses more than 500 billion liters of freshwater water each day for to cool down electric power plants.
  • By 2050, about 12,000 cubic kilometers of water will be required to feed the world’s growing population. This is equivalent to amount of water in Lake Superior.

Every country, big and small, is feeling the pressure of dwindling water supply. Some countries like Israel (where there is too little water) and the Netherlands (where there is too much water) are doing a good job in managing their water supplies. Other countries, including the US and other European countries are not as efficient.

However, we shouldn?t leave the responsibility of saving water on our government agencies and policy makers alone. There are many ways wherein we can save water at home, thereby helping the environment as well as saving on utility bills. Here are my water-saving policies at home:

  • Do not leave the tap running when you are brushing your teeth. Use a glass.
  • When washing hands, do not leave the tap running while reaching for the soap or working those soap suds.
  • Fix leaks as soon as possible.
  • Run the washing machine and the dishwater only when they are full.
  • Save the water used to wash vegetables and fruit. This can be used to water the plants in and outside the house.
  • Save rain water in the summer time.
  • Do not use sprinklers on the lawn. Use water from the kitchen sink or rainwater
  • Take showers instead of baths.

Most important, teach your kids how to save water. Kids love playing with water. It took me months to break my boys` habit of making the bathroom (and the sink) their play area the minute my back is turned. I also taught them how to use the water-saving device on out toilets. When it comes to saving water, money, and the environment, it?s best to start them young. Remember, when it comes to water, every drop counts!

Here are other sites that give valuable water-saving tips.

A to Z of water saving tips, BBC News

Water Saving Tips, Sydney Water

American Water and Energy Savers

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