Water – Save it now! Finding out about water conservation.
Current water storage for Melbourne. http://www.savewater.com.au/default.asp?SectionId=180&SortTag=317
What is, and why is water conservation important? Water conservation is the preservation, management, and care of water as a natural resource. Of all the water in the world, only 3% is fresh. Less than a third of 1% of this is available to humans. 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, less than a half of a teaspoon of it is fresh water available for our use.
Current strategies – around the home There are many reasons to save water in and around the home. It can help to reduce your running costs and spending less on water, energy and detergent bills, especially when it comes to washing machines, dishwashers, toilets and taps. These changes will also help the environment. These are all good reasons to save water.
Current strategies – around the garden In Australia, about 35-50% of all domestic water use occurs in the garden. Most of our gardens contain plants inappropriate for our environment, and we often water far more than we should, because we dont know what our plants really need. As the driest populated continent on earth, we can't afford gardens that require excessive amounts of water. In the future new dams will need to be situated in more environmentally sensitive areas. This will be at the cost of tax payers, and may result in the destruction of wilderness areas. It will also degrade natural aquatic ecosystems. Water efficiency can reduce consumption, whilst retaining many of the plants we like. Efficiency should be a key concern when designing a garden, but it can also be incorporated into existing ones.
What we can be doing ~ around the home When washing dishes by hand, dont rinse them under a running tap. If you have two sinks, fill the second one with rinsing water. If you have only one sink, stack washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a pan of hot water. Use the minimum amount of dishwashing detergent (when washing dishes by hand) as this will reduce the amount of rinsing required. Use a plugged sink or a pan of water. This saves running the tap continuously. Use only as much water as you need in the kettle to cut your electricity costs at the same time. When boiling vegetables, use just enough water to cover them and keep the lid on the saucepan. Your vegetables will boil quicker and save you water, power and not to mention preserving precious vitamins in the food. Aerating taps are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50%. Dont use running water to defrost frozen food. Ideally place food in refrigerator to defrost overnight. Where convenient and appropriate try to capture warm-up water for use on plants, rinsing dishes, washing fruit and vegetables, or other cleaning tasks. Check for leaks and if there are any dripping taps, replace washers or other components as required. Dripping taps can waste 30 – 200 litres of water per day, so ensure taps are turned off properly.
What we can be doing ~ around the garden Xeriscape (xeros=dry, scape=land) is a term often used for water efficient gardens, and targets seven basic areas: planning, soil care, selection of plants, lawn care, irrigation, mulching, and maintenance. When applied together these techniques reduce water dramatically, however each technique on its own will have a significant impact. The concept was first developed in North America, but has since emerged as a generic, holistic approach for water conservation in the garden. The average garden hose delivers 1000 litres of water an hour! We can be water efficient just by changing our behaviour. It is important to make sure that we apply it sensibly. Using trigger operated nozzles, checking for leaks in the hoses and taps, and remembering to turn off that hose left under the lemon tree are all simple ways to be water efficient. See the advice section for more information.
Conclusion Water is precious. As we can see, we all need to conserve water, and there is lots we can all be doing in the home, in the garden and at work. Do your bit now!
Extension Activity! We compared the water conservation strategies in a Melbourne & Brisbane. –They have deep gutters. –They dont need tanks………….. Bibliography: Graph: http://www.savewater.com.au/default.asp?SectionId=1 80&SortTag=317 http://www.savewater.com.au/default.asp?SectionId=1 80&SortTag=317 Research: www.savewater.com.au