Water Conservation has a few goals to ensure the resource for future generations.
· Preservation - The amount of water used should not exceed what is available in that ecosystem.
· Energy Conservation - The movement of water, e.g. water pumping, waste and treatment uses vast amounts of energy. In some areas of the world over 15% of the total electricity used is all geared to water management.
· Habitat Conservation - Limiting and reducing human water use can preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating wildfowl, as well as reducing the need to build water diversion structures like dams.
Water Conservation, like all sustainability programs across the world, start from the local level, by either the local governments or by the water authorities.Popular strategies include
· Increasing public profile on the stresses on water levels.
· Higher charges using different water rates..
· Restrictions on outdoor use such as hose pipe bans.
· In very arid countries natural landscaping can be used to limit outdoor usage.
One very important conservation tool is universal metering.
The actual implementation of metering across the world differs enormously.
· In the UK only 30% of homes are metered.
· In Canadian urban areas, as much as 61% of homes have a meter.
· Homes in rural areas of the US and Europe although may not benefit by having a meter as they are often off the network, it is estimated that metering alone could save 20-40%.
Water metering raises awareness of usage and it also identifies leaks in local areas. Metering will benefit all in the future as it is proven to reduce usage, improve efficiency and will eventually reduce costs for individuals. This would imply that one would not be able to waste water unless they are willing to pay the charges and water departments would be able to monitor usage and predict shortages and become water smart.
Agriculture is a massive user of water and it is crop irrigation that accounts for 70% of the worlds freshwater usage. Unsurprisingly, the agricultural sector in most countries is both politically and economically important and this leads to large subsides in this sector. Conservation advocates have suggested that these be removed in order to force farmers to become water smart and grow more water efficient crops and adopt less wasteful irrigation techniques.
What can you do to help?
Waste water is an important factor in water management as if we use less water we create less waste. We have a few tips to help you reduce your water waste at home.
A quick shower with an efficient shower head helps to reduce waste water. Replacing an old head which may exceed 20 litres per minute to new 10 litre per minute one can save considerable volumes of water. Turning off the tap whilst brushing your teeth can save up to 6 litres per minute.
Reuse Excess Water:
If we can collect excess rain water to use in the garden, this too can reduce the amount of water wasted when using a hose pipe. You could try reusing your bath water when watering plants or washing the car.
Water Efficient Toilets:
New technology is constantly creating great new opportunities for consumers and features such as full flush and half flush toilets makes an important difference to water consumption and waste. The average person flushes the toilet five times a day, toilets make up around 31% of a household’s water consumption. This can be dramatically reduced by fitting a modern water saving Flush & Fill Valves to your toilet cistern.
Did you know?
The Environment Agency has developed a methodology for identifying and classifying relative levels of water stress in water company areas in England. The Government has used this map to designate areas of serious water stress for the purpose of accelerating water metering.