Saving water

Saving water, during a drought and in general

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

“Don't rush to flush if it's only a pee” was the water saving eco-advice given in a booklet produced by the office of the Mayor of London under Ken Livingstone and this is a good advice.

Using less water in our homes (and elsewhere) is not only good environmental practice, it also makes financial sense, especially if you are on a water meter. If you are not than, in financial terms, there is no benefit but in the long run you too will benefit as there remains enough water to go round.

Once again we have seen how our water resources are stretched, especially in the South, South East and East of England where several dry winters in a row have given us another, though by now rather wet, drought and hosepipe bans are in place and the there was the threat, almost, of also other restrictions.

How a country such as Britain where it rains a great deal though, as said, the last couple of winters have been rather dry, bar some snow the year before last and the one before, ends up having water shortages confuses most of our European neighbors. The problem is that unlike most of the Britain does not have a national water grid and makes every excuse under the sun for not putting one in place.

The other problem, especially for the Southern Counties and the Home Counties, is that there are simply too many people living there and too much industry situated there; both of which impacts seriously on the water resources.

Furthermore the water infrastructure is so old, in many places dating from the Victorian era, with little to no investment having been made into it for at least three quarters of a decade. Pipes are so porous that one could almost say that they appear to be resembling a sieve in many places and the water companies seem to be incapable or unwilling to actually get on top of that problem and plug the leaks.

When it comes to saving water, and not only the householders need to think about that; business need to also, there are a number of things that can be done and using the flush on the toilet only when needed is but one.

When it comes to using water a home it is a case “when not necessary don't run the tap” also and that means especially when brushing your teeth. Way too many people – and the reason for this beats me – leave the tap running when cleaning their teeth. Use a beaker as we always did and I still do to rinse. Much better anyway than sticking your head under the tap.

Take a four-minute shower instead of a bath. That saves a great deal of water especially considering how many gallons of pure clean water is being used with each and every bath.

Get a rainwater butt – or more than one – for use in the garden. Rainwater is also much better for use with your plants, be those flowers or vegetables, than is tap water. The chlorine is what cause the problem of leaf burn when watering is done during the day (though watering during the day when the sun is high is not a good idea as the water will evaporate) as chlorine is, basically, a salt.

More water savings could be achieved if you use gray water in the garden, for instance, or for the flushing of your lavatory. Gray water is that kind of water that you have been using for washing your hands, during a shower and such. With the right tools it can be captured and used another time. The only gray water I would not suggest using is the one from washing the dishes as that may, aside from detergent which would not be all that good for watering plants, grease which would cause a problem also when used for flushing the lavatory.

Gray water use requires a little forethought and diverters where certain types of water are used for specific applications, such as the water from your washing machine for use only to flush the lavatory and not to go for watering the garden, for instance.

Those are but a few suggestions that could save you money, if your water use is metered and you pay according to that, and which, and that is most important, can help conserve precious water resources.

© 2012