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Under Pressure - What will become of our most precious resource - Water?

Our Ecoed team member and UK Project Manager, Zoe Olsberg, shares some reflections and responses in relation to the importance of valuing water, in light of the recent water shortages events in London.

The 22nd of March is the UN's World Water Day and in light of the recent water shortages in London and the South West, which gave us all a taste of what it might be like in the not too distant future, if Water shortages become more common place, and started a lot of discussion around how much we take this essential daily resource for granted.

As the taps started to run dry there were many calls made to neighbours and friends to see if they were also experiencing the same problems. Thankfully it was short lived as the shortage was due to the bad weather, burst pipes etc, that were quickly fixed, however it started some interesting conversations online and in coffee shops about whether our existing Victorian infrastructure can withstand the increasing demand on the supply.

I live in Archway, North London, and there are new building developments galore in my borough including three new towers over the tube station, the forthcoming development of the former Holloway Prison site and one that my garden backs onto just off the Holloway Road. I am all for new developments and housing, especially developments with significant social housing being brought to my area, however we have seen that there has been increased flooding from the overstretched water ways bringing up sewage into the streets, taking us back a century in sanitation. 

However, this raises an even bigger question globally around our Water usage and the commonly held belief that our next humanitarian crisis will be infighting over Water. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world's population could be living under water stressed conditions.

With only 3% of the Water on the planet being freshwater and only 1% actually accessible to drink, which is the equivalent to the World's water fitting into a gallon jug and the fresh water available for us to use being equal to about one tablespoon, which just goes to show that our blue planet does not have an unlimited resource for us to squander. 

Did you know these water facts?

·     A dishwasher uses less water than washing by hand

·   A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water If a human does not absorb enough water dehydration is the result

·     Human bones are 31% water

·     More than half of the water used in a home is used in the bathroom 

(Source: https://www.espwaterproducts.com/water-facts/)

So what can we do on a daily basis to reduce our personal water consumption?

Here’s some daily water saving inspiration:

·  Turn off your tap when you are cleaning your teeth – as this wastes on average 24 litres each time you brush 

·     Reduce your daily shower to 5 minutes and save 25 litres per minute that you don’t spend in the shower!

·     Try meat free Mondays as eating less meat means less water usage in the production process e.g.To produce one chicken, we need 330 gallons of Water – that is the same as three full bathtubs of water!

What will you do to save water today?

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