Water is the most abundant resource on earth, however it is not infinite. Although 71 percent of our planet is water, yet a very small proportion of this water is fit for domestic use. According to an estimate by the United Nations, there will be 3 billion people facing water shortage in 2025. Another estimate indicates that almost two thirds of the water in an average household runs through showers, faucets and toilets. Fresh water has two primary uses in the household, drinking and sanitation. Sanitation includes toilet flushing, dish washing, washing clothes etc. Most household consumers use more water than their requirement .Since fresh water is a valuable natural resource vulnerable to depletion, consumers must use it sensibly. Certain conservation measures on part of the consumer can result in substantial water savings.
Water Saving Tips for Consumers
Install low-flow shower-heads and faucets to reduce water flow; reduction flow in winter can result in significant water conservation. An added advantage in cold environments is the savings in energy costs as hot water generation requires energy consumption.
Conventional toilets use almost 5 to 9 gallons of water per flush. By using low-flush toilets, this quantity can be reduced to only 2 gallons per flush.
Front-loading washing machines are preferable as they require less water compared to top-loading machines.
Do not leave the faucet running while shaving and brushing teeth; avoid using showers longer than required.
Running the dishwasher with a full load of dishes results in water saving compared to washing dishes by hand.
Do not leave water taps running in the washroom, while it is not being consumed.
While filling bottles for drinking water, do not empty into kitchen sinks. It can be used for watering the plants.
Certain modifications can be brought about in homes and buildings to collect and store secondary water- water that has already been used in bathroom sinks, showers, washing machines and dishwashers. It can be consumed at places where clean water is not required. For instance secondary water can be reused for flushing toilets, washing the car and sprinkling the lawn.
Waste water can also be collected, treated and then distributed for reuse. Waste water contains certain pollutants, yet it carries some nutrients beneficial to crops. Thus treated waste water can be used for agricultural irrigation.
Governmental and community authorities can take certain conservation measures such as consumer education, installation of residential water meters and rebate on water conservation devices thereby encouraging and enabling water savings.
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