The importance of saving water…it’s common sense isn’t it?

Flickr: Heaven`s Gate (John)

Turning the tap off when brushing my teeth, not flushing the toilet every time I do a wee, and turning the shower off when I’m not rinsing, are just a few things I do to conserve my daily water usage.

But than what I’m saying is common sense, isn’t it?

If you haven’t already heard the news, here it is: people living in South East England are in a drought, joining those in the Anglia region.

As water levels fail to reach targets in the second driest winter in a row, a report from the Environment Agency claims that there is a danger that the drought could spread to areas in the South West and the Midlands, making this the worst since 1976.

But, as we come to terms with this latest report that could see many of our taps spluttering to life when we turn them on, will it make us change the way we take water for granted when millions of others in other countries rely on so little?

The average Briton uses around 150 litres of water per day, that’s around 55,000 litres in a year. When you think about the population in the UK, the numbers soon start adding up, and for something we rarely think about it’s a colossal amount.

I’m not saying I’m a saint when it comes to water conservation, but I like to feel that I’m doing my bit to save as much as I can. I figure it’s the little things that will help to make a big difference. Now, I’m not sure how much water I use or consume per day, but I’m hoping I fall far below the average Brit.

Of course, saying that I’m pretty sure it’s higher than the 20L recommendation that the Department for the Environment reckons people can get by on throughout the day.

According to the RainWater Knowledge Centre, ten minutes in the shower uses 200 litres of water!

That’s a heck of a lot considering I spend on average around 10-15 minutes in the shower each day. In this case I would have exceeded the average Brit by 7am! So, it’s not surprising that turning the shower off when I’m not rinsing is something I definitely do.

Even though this is not the first drought we’ve had, nor is it likely to be the last, why it’s come to this is beyond me. Recently, Caroline Spelman, the environment and rural affairs secretary is quoted as saying:

“We are asking for the help of everyone by urging them to use less water and to start now.”

You want me to start now? But I’ve been doing this for ages! I know plenty of people who consider this the norm, so it may come as a shock to them to find out that because parts of England are in drought, the government is urging us to take steps to save water…now.

At least we’re not like the average American, which apparently relies on around 2,000 gallons of water a day.

But, drought or no drought it shouldn’t have to take the government to tell us to start saving water when we’re in danger of running out for us to actually think about doing it. It’s a common sense issue and we should be doing it already.


4 thoughts on “The importance of saving water…it’s common sense isn’t it?

  1. whats your facination with us americans? Your apparant suggestion that the average american uses 2000 gallons of water a day is ubsurd. Since my water bill is based on a monthly average, 0 to 1250 gal at a set rate per gal. 1250 to 3000 gal at a higher rate per gal, and 3000 gal and higher at a higher rate. As a single person I use on average 1100 gal per month, take the average american four person family and do the math. Not turning off the water while brushing your teeth, or flushing the toilet everytime you pee will reflect in your bill. I dont know where the person got thier figures for 2000 gallons per day, but the people living in beverly hills are not average amercans, and should not be included when compiling figures for things like water comsuption LOL, Besides that great job sis.

    • I don’t mean that the average American will use 2,000 gallons of water each day through everyday things such as washing and flushing the toilet, even though that does account for it. You’re right, if that was the case, that would be absurd. But the average American lifestyle will require that amount. For example, take what you eat and drink everyday, such as salads, hamburgers, water etc. All of it will require H2O. The hamburger will probably have around 630 gallons of water, all of which was used to grow the corn that the cow will eat. Salads need water as well to grow the lettuce, tomatoes etc and consuming eight glasses of water a day will soon see the average number mount up.

      We don’t usually think about the use of water that we can’t see in the things we eat, but water would have to have been used at some stage to sustain the things we will eventually eat. When you think of it like that, 2,000 gallons of water a day isn’t so hard to reach at all, even if that number is apparently twice the global average.

      And you can’t exclude Americans living in Beverly Hills. They’re there too and have to be counted, even if they’re not average beings : )

  2. We can apparently get by on 20L a day?! How is that possible when just one minute in the shower uses this amount (according to your article anyway)?

    I drink about half that. So that leaves me with a 30 second shower…

    • Living on 20L a day does sound like a hard feat to gain, but considering people in developing countries, on average, live on this amount it seems we should be able to as well. But because we’re used to the availability of water whenever we turn the tap on or wash our clothes we think 20L is not something that can be achieved.

      There was a point in the 19th century when the Brits could get by on this amount, but that soon changed when we had access to clean water in 1852. And now it’s a source that we take for granted.

      20L shouldn’t to be too hard to get by on if we cut back on the amount of water we use, but we shouldn’t have to find ourselves facing such a prospect in the 21st century.

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