22 March 2013

6 Ways to Celebrate World Water Day the Whole Year

Today we celebrate World Water Day for the 20th consecutive year. This year under the motto Cooperation. Although a lot has been discussed about freshwater in recent years people often assume that conserving water is a grand enterprise, the responsibility for which lies on the backs of organizations and governments.
While many people are worried about global warming, and the climate change, experts are predicting that the water crisis that is upon us will soon leave different cultures with no options about securing water for consumption and agricultural uses.

In fact, if each and every one of us tries to see a slightly bigger picture, one that cannot be seen from the mega-polices we live in, one that we don't even think about in our daily struggle with stress, chores and just trying to survive, then we will realize how connected we are to our planet, to nature, to water sources, to wildlife, to people in need living on distant continents. There are people on Earth -- about 900 million of them -- who don't even have access to safe water supplies.

According to the Stockholm International Water Institute, polluted water kills more people than wars or earthquakes, and about 3.6 million people –- including 1.5 million children –- are estimated to die each year from water-related diseases, including diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera and dysentery.

Lack of action makes you and I responsible for the lives of many, even though they are either far away or we have never seen them.

Regardless of color, religious belief or place of living, we all share the same enormous home and it is high time we realize that whatever we do may affect the rest of the residents of this home. It is important that we all do our part to make the best use of the resources we have, which means finding ways to reuse water and reduce our daily consumption.

Here are 6 ways to join the celebration of World Water Day and to start conserving water every day. The best way is to keep track of the amount of water that you use in one day and find ways to reduce it:
  1. Change your toilet to a low-flow one. Toilets use about 30% of the total water used in a household. If you cannot afford replacing your old toilet with a more efficient one, it’s easy to convert your existing one to a low-flow toilet.
  2. Fix your leaking faucets and dripping shower heads, they  are some of the biggest household water wasters. It is estimated that just a small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste as much as 70 liters of water per day.
  3. Change your diet. A vegetarian diet uses 10 times less water than a carnivorous one. It takes 25 liters of water to produce one potato, but it takes 7,000 liters of water to produce a steak. The less meat you eat, the less meat will be produced and the less fresh watter supplies will be used (added bonus -- you will be healthier). See this chart for more information about the amount of water that is used to produce your favorite foods.
  4. Steam instead of boil. Steaming vegetables uses less water than boiling and is healthier. In some cases you cannot avoid boiling, but you can save the water for your garden, soup stock, or use it to clean pots.
  5. Reduce food waste. About one third of all food is wasted throughout production, storage, transportation, consumption and disposal. Learn  how long you can store food in your freezer. Other ways to reduce food waste are only buying what you plan to eat, using leftovers to create new meals or donating food you can’t use to soup kitchens.
  6. Use rain water. A staggering 40% of household water used in the U.S. is used for watering lawns and gardens, washing automobiles, maintain swimming pools, and cleaning sidewalks and driveways. This can be done with the same effect with rain water. You can install rain catchment systems on your roof or rain barrels around your home.
It is more important than ever to open our eyes and take action. By helping others we will help ourselves too. Water is one of the reasons we came into being and without we cannot survive. 

Now it's your turn. What is your opinion about conserving water?