Did you know that over £8 Billion will be invested in the UK’s water industry this year alone? By 2020, the UK will have invested an astonishing £44 BILLION to save waste water and improve reclaim systems! You may be wondering, ‘why so much?’, or, ‘how have I never heard of this before?’. Well, what experts believe could potentially happen in the next nine years will have the dooms day preppers laughing all the way to the bunker.
One of the £44B initiatives set by WaterWise will aim to save the UK over 370 million litres of wasted water EVERY DAY. Enough to fill 148 Olympic swimming pools.
So why is this investment so massive? Here are some interesting facts around daily water usage that are bound to blow (or wash) you away….
Bath: 300 litres used
Shower: 20 litres per minute – avg 100 litres (5mins)
Dishwasher: 27 litres used per cycle
Clothes Wash: 112 litres used per cycle
Toilet Flush: 7 litres per flush – avg 35 litres per day
Car Wash: 300 litres
Ok, so that’s looking at your day-to-day water use; Water we can physically see, touch, and feel. But what about all the water waste we don’t see? Here’s a few figures for you to consider.
How many litres does it cost to produce:
1kg of Beef: 15,400 litres (think twice before ordering your next Big Mac!)
½ litre bottle of coke: 35 litres
1 pint of beer: 300 litres
1 litre of Orange Juice: 518 litres
So, lets say, you wake up, pop to the loo, have a shower, make breakfast with a glass of orange juice, stick the dishwasher on before work, and off you go. A bottle of diet (summer is approaching, after all) Coca-Cola with lunch, a quick trip to the pub after work for a beer, home time. Swing by the hand car wash on your way back, stick a clothes wash on, bath and bed (oh, and not forgetting another 2 x trips to the loo) – your water footprint, not including the food you eat, the car you drive, the clothes you wear, is now at 1589 litres for a single day.
As you can easily see, our water consumption is huge, from our day-to-day habits to the products we consume. And yet, most people do not even think twice before switching on the tap.
In the next decade we will see the Earth’s population grow by around two billion people. During his TedX speech, Kaveh Madani, estimates that we are already ‘Bankrupt’ of water supplies, and that we need to somehow raise an extra 60% more water to maintain current consumption habits. The clock is ticking. By 2025 it is estimated that 66% of the global population will be living in stressed water conditions. Of which two billion people will be living in regions with absolute water scarcity. So without water, what happens?…
Kufi Anan, former United Nations Secretary-General, believes that the “fierce competition between countries for fresh water may well become a source of conflict and wars in the future”.
Ismail Serageldin, former VP of the World Bank believes that “the wars of the 21st century will be fought over water”
Making slight changes in our daily habits can help save 1000’s of litres of water each day. Here are some tips on how we can help save water:
Shorter showers & limit baths
We all love a bath, granted! Although showers seem to fit out busier lifestyles and have become a well-cemented part of the wake up routine. Now we all know that little devil that whispers in our ear at 6am saying: ‘give yourself 5 more minutes in the shower – anything to delay the rat race’. That extra 5 minutes just cost 45 litres of wasted water and made you late for work. Imagine how long it would take you to drink that amount. Or, imagine what people in Haiti or Ghana would do for that amount of fresh, clean water.
Choosing vegetables over meat
If you’ve not watched Cowspiracy, it’s fascinated and interesting viewing! Livestock is not only the biggest polluter on the planet (yes, more than cars) but also consumes vast amounts of water. Each cow, on average, consumes over 180 litres per day. That quarter-pounder should have you seriously hydrated!
Fix leaking taps
Drip, drip, drip, drip. It’s 23:00, you’re dosing off to sleep, and there it is again. Stop being lazy and just have it fixed! Sorry to be blunt. Now here are the numbers – 1 drip x every 10 secs = 315 litres a year!
Installing lower flow taps
INNOVATION! You may have seen these water saving wizards on Dragons Den, or have been lucky enough to use one. Waterblades save 75% of your usual water use when washing your hands or face! It’s a no brainer, buying one of these inexpensive little gems will save water – period.
Fill up the sink, don’t leave the tap running
Many people are guilty of this habit, but plugs do exist for a reason. Fill up, wash, done.