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Of all the climate change-related issues that the world now faces, the water crisis is perhaps the most pressing of them all.
Water scarcity already affects every continent and it’s expected that the problem will get worse as the years go on, in line with rising temperatures, population growth, ageing infrastructure, more extreme weather events, water mismanagement and increasing urbanisation.
The statistics do make for somewhat disturbing reading, however. According to the US Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 1. 2 billion people already live in areas of water scarcity. And UNESCO figures show that under the current climate change scenario, water scarcity in some arid and semi-arid regions will see between 24 million and 700 million people displaced.
But all is not yet lost! Although the challenge ahead is a formidable one, there is a huge amount that we as individuals can do to help reduce pressure on precious water resources.
The solution to the crisis will require collaboration across the board, with everyone from governments and businesses to organisations, stakeholders and members of the public working together on a global scale to help ensure that demand does not outstrip supply in the future.
So, with that in mind, here are just some of the ways in which you could go about saving water at home, little actions that altogether add up to something quite significant over time.
If you’re inspired by this blog post and want to find out more, you can get an idea of what your own personal water footprint actually is, which could help drive you on to make even further adjustments to how and where you use water.
If you keep a reusable water bottle in the fridge, you’ll have cold water at your disposal whenever you want it, without having to run the tap to bring it to the right temperature. Buy a few bottles and swap them in and out so you have a regular supply!
It takes around 80 litres to fill the average bath, while an average-length shower uses about 60 litres, so showering most of the time could save a huge amount of water.
However, it does also depend on how long you spend in the shower, so if you’re worried that you’re not saving enough you could try cutting shower times down by a minute, or perhaps have an aerated showerhead installed, which injects air into the water stream to make it feel fuller than it is.
Another option is to wash less altogether! Dry brushing is a way to gently exfoliate the skin, where you use a soft brush or exfoliating mitt to go over your skin in circles, starting from your ankles and working your way upwards.
It’s a great way to energise yourself in the morning, as well. Simply dry brush all over and then hop in the shower for a quick rinse in warm water before massaging yourself with your favourite body oils. What a great opportunity for some self-care while saving the planet!
You may not even be aware you’re leaving the tap on while brushing… often, it’s done without thinking. But just wetting the head of the brush and then turning the tap off straight away can actually save around six or seven litres of water, which will really start to add up!
Do you have a garden at home? No matter how big or small, if you have plants outside you’ll need to water them at some point. And, in fact, thanks to climate change we’re expected to see drier, hotter summers - so they may need even more water in the future than they do right now.
Reduce your reliance on mains water supplies by harvesting rainwater throughout the year. You can then use this to fill your watering can up with - and the great news is that plants actually prefer rainwater to tap water, so your garden will flourish and thrive like never before!
You may not even know you have a leak somewhere in your system at home, since the majority of these are so small they’re barely noticeable, or they take place below ground where they’re hard to detect.
In England alone, three billion litres of water is wasted through leakage every day - which is quite alarming! Having your property checked out can help you identify leaks and stop them in their tracks, saving water and your back pocket at the same time.
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