Why Save Water
Of all the water in the world, only 3% is fresh. Less than one third of 1% of this fresh water is available for human use. The rest is frozen in glaciers or polar ice caps, or is deep within the earth, beyond our reach.
To put it another way, if 100 litres represents the world's water, about half a tablespoon of it is fresh water available for our use.
The UK has less available water per person than most other European countries. London is drier than Istanbul, and the South East of England has less water available per person than the Sudan and Syria. Surprised?
As our population grows, more and more people are sharing this limited resource. Also, the more water consumed the less there is available for the environment. Therefore, it is important that we use water wisely and do not waste it.
The impacts of excessive consumption
There are many hidden effects of excessive water consumption, including:
Water for food. Water consumption for agriculture alters the natural water cycle in many areas of the U.K. This degrades production areas and intensifies other environmental problems such as landclearing and eutrophication.
Degradation of water bodies. Many of our rivers, wetlands and bays are degraded. This is partly due to the high levels of water extracted, as well as polluted surface runoff and stormwater flushed into them.
Building more reservoirs. This has environmental effects such as altered streamflows, destruction of wilderness, and degraded ecological health. They cause the loss of high quality agricultural land, displacement of people. Reservoirs are also very costly!
Maintenance. Maintaining infrastructure for water supply and use. This includes the costly upgrades and maintenance of pipes, sewers and treatment facilities. As well as the fuel consumption to distribute water around the network.
The benefits of saving water
Reducing the amount of water that goes to waste at home helps protect the wildlife that lives in rivers and wetlands, while cutting the energy needed for treating and pumping water for domestic use. Better still, saving water by installing a meter may reduce your household water bill as well. And in times of drought, it is particularly important to know how to save water at home.
Conserving the water we have minimises the effects of water shortages and helps build a better defence against future drought years. If we save water now, we are helping to ensure a water supply adequate for future generations.