A father with his children walk over the cracked soil of a 1.5 hectare dried up fishery at the Novaleta town in Cavite province, south of Manila May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco/Files
Water is an essential natural resource for life including drinking, cleaning, crop production and feeding livestock. Knowing that water covers 70 percent of the planet makes it easy to think that we, earth inhabitants, would never face a water crisis. However, the available amount of fresh water is very rare as 97.5 percent of the world’s water is too salty for human use as it is locked in seas and oceans and most of the remaining 2.5 percent is locked in ice caps.
Both governments and communities have an obligation to protect the available water resources. Statistics from the World Bank show that industry and agriculture consume more water than the domestic sector. However, it remains every person’s responsibility to protect the water sources and secure the future of the coming human generations.
According to “Friends of the Earth” association, the average amount of water each human uses every day to wash, cook and clean is about 150 liters. In 2017, the World Health Organization “WHO” and the United Nations Organization for Children “UNICEF” published the results of the first global assessment of safely managed drinking water and sanitation services, which revealed that some three in ten people worldwide lack access to safe, readily available water at home while six in ten people lack safely managed sanitation. The report also reveals that with the current consumption rate, by 2025 two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages as the water systems that keep the ecosystems thriving and feed the growing human population will become very stressed as a result of climate change and pollution.
Following very simple daily habits can contribute to saving water even though water doesn’t appear in short supply in Egypt. These habits include:
1. Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth or shave to save up to six liters of water a minute.
2. Fill your kettle with the amount of water you need to save water, energy and money.
3. Reduce the volume of water you flush every time you use the toilet by using a dual-flush device to flush less than the 13 liters for old flushes.
4. Take shorter showers to lower your use of water; every minute you spend in a shower uses up to 17 liters of water. Try using an efficient shower head that combines water and air to save water and money as well.
5. Cut out unnecessary washes by using full machine loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.
6. Fix any leaky taps or pipes and never leave them dripping to stop wasting around 15 liters of water a day.
7. Water your garden with a watering can or a drip irrigation system rather than a hosepipe and water your plants in the early morning and late afternoon to reduce evaporation and save water. And do not water on rainy days.
8. Steam your food to cut water usage. If you prefer to boil, use the remaining water as a stock for soups or to water plants.
9. Use a pool cover to prevent water evaporation.
10. Use a bucket instead of a hose to wash your car, and a broom to clean sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.
11. Defrost food in the fridge or at room temperature, rather than placing it under hot running water.
12. Choose a proper sized pot for cooking, larger pots require more water.
13. Use less dish-washing liquid because the more you use the more water you will need to rinse.