person standing on a rock in a stream

Taking care of our freshwater supply

11 Feb 2019

Fresh water is a rare, precious resource

It’s there when we turn on the tap, and we simply expect it to be. However, increasing demand for freshwater means we’re running dangerously low.

In fact, freshwater withdrawals (which is the total water withdrawals, not counting evaporation losses from storage basins), has tripled over the last 50 years and is increasing by a staggering 64 cubic meters every year.

Only 2 percent of the global water supply is made up of fresh water, which means it’s a precious resource. Some 80 percent of all diseases in the developing world are water-related and, by 2025, the United Nation estimates that 30 percent of the world’s population residing in 50 countries will face water shortages.

That means it’s up to us as humans to make some smart and informed choices.

How to preserve water

Some simple steps to take are in order to preserve water are:

  • Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth: not having your tap running water while brushing your teeth saves up to six litres of water every minute.
  • Take shorter showers: an effective shower can use anything between 6 and 50 liters of water, depending on the length of the shower. You can also consider getting an aerated shower head that combines water and air, or inserting a regulator in your shower to regulate your flow rate.
  • Don’t wait for water to get cold before drinking it. Many of us let the tap run waiting for the water to get ice cold before we consider drinking it, and stopping that habit would save loads of perfectly good freshwater.
  • Think hard about all the products you buy: some products are more water-intense than others and by changing your consumption habits you can save lots of freshwater.

Zero water product alternative - Stone Paper

A metric ton of Stone Paper requires exactly zero water usage. In comparison, a metric ton of new wood-pulp paper requires 15.7 X water usage (equivalent to 434 showers), whereas a metric ton of recycled pulp paper requires 5.84 X water usage.

waves crashing onto rocks

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