Every living thing needs water to survive, and human water use is growing exponentially. It’s predicted that by the year 2050, about half of humans will be living under severe water stress conditions. Our population is growing everyday and our water supply remains finite. Two simple solutions: waste less and reuse more!
Water-saving strategies can be simple or advanced, and governments and organizations are trying just about everything. In 2008, the city of Atlanta, GA named October its official “Take a Shorter Shower Month” in an effort to conserve water. In the African nation of Namibia, a direct potable reuse systems turns household wastewater into crystal clear drinking water. With modern technology, the possibilities are almost endless, yet the question of cost is often developed. Luckily, many cost-effective strategies for local communities to implement have been developed.
The best way to save water may be to simply waste less. A report by the Stockholm International Water Institute found that 50% of water used by humans is wasted. Water-saving strategies at home or at the office can be as easy as checking pipes for leaks, installing low-flow shower heads, and planting drought-resistant shrubs.
Modern technologies have also made it possible to reuse water more. Throughout the United States, “greywater reuse” has become more widespread. Greywater is waste water generated from everyday household activities like bathing, dish washing, and laundry. Greywater comprises about two-thirds of all domestic water use. Most of this water is relatively clean and can be recycled to flush toilets and water lawns, among other things.
As populations continue to grow across the U.S. and the world, the demand for water will increase, too. Hopefully, if governments and individuals make water conservation a priority, there will be enough water to go around for the future. GEF urges you to start today by implementing simple water saving techniques, such as, turning off the water when brushing teeth, running only full loads of dishes and clothes in your washers, and watering lawns and gardens only when necessary!
Get your school, classroom or community involved in water sustainability by making water your National Green Week theme. Sign up to be a GEF member today (it’s free) and select the Sustainable Water Challenge for lots of free lessons, activities, tips and more about water! Also, don’t forget there is a 10 percent discount on GEF Institute’s online course, Water and Sustainability! For those of you eager to get a jump on the competition by earning a professional certificate in sustainability, GEF Institute offers a Sustainability Specialist Certificate in Water. Just use the coupon code ‘water’ when you check out to save!