Cutting back water use is critical to conserving water. Learn how you can collect and recycle water
Today marks the annual commemoration of one of the world’s most precious, and most wasted, resources, water.
The theme for World Water Day 2017 is wastewater, and the urgent need to reduce and reuse it. Here are some facts on water:
- Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. (Sato et al, 2013)
- 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene cause around 842,000 deaths each year. (WHO/UNICEF 2014/WHO 2014)
- The opportunities from exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials.
Water Day 2017 Theme: Why Wastewater?
This year, we focus on wastewater and ways to reduce and reuse as over 80% of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature polluting the environment and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.
We need to improve the collection and treatment of wastewater and safely reuse it. At the same time, we need to reduce the quantity and pollution load of wastewater we produce, to help protect the environment and our water resources.
5 ways to save and reuse wastewater
Cutting back water use is critical to conserving water, but on top of things like turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, you can collect and recycle water to save even more. Here are 5 ways to reuse water at home:
1. Use a Shower Bucket
The shower bucket is probably the simplest way to recycle water at home. When you turn on the tap for your shower, the water that comes out takes some time to heat up to a comfortable temperature. Next time you’re warming up the shower, stick a bucket under the running tap until you’re ready to get in. You’ll be surprised at how much water you collect.
2. Collect Water with Rain Barrels for Garden
By collecting rain from a roof during rainy season and storing it in a tank or barrel, homeowners can create an alternative supply. Rain water is ideal for watering the lawn, washing the car, doing the laundry, taking a shower — even drinking if it’s properly filtered. You can also collect used water from your kitchen sink or bath and use it to water your plants.
3. Save Water during Car Wash
If you have a lawn, wash your car on it! Your car will be clean, your lawn will be fed, and by doing this you know you did a lot to help the environment.
4. Fix leaky Toilets and leaky Faucets
If you notice a leaky pipe, faucet, or toilet, get it fixed immediately. A leaky toilet, for example, can waste up to 200 gallons of water a DAY. So please, fix your water problems.
5. Install a Gray Water System
Gray water is waste water that doesn’t contain sewage. Think the water that goes down the drain when you wash your hands or do laundry. A gray water system diverts that water, so it doesn’t go to waste. A good example might be diverting water from your shower drain for flushing the toilet. Gray water systems can get pretty complicated, and just like any plumbing setup, they do require maintenance.