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Saving Water

Water is one of humanity’s most valuable natural resources. But despite the fact that most of our planet is covered by water, 97 percent is salt water, and most of the rest is frozen at the poles – which means we should not allow fresh water to be wasted.

Water-saving practices used on a daily basis contribute to a more rational usage of this scarce resource, so scarce, in fact, that many people around the world do not have access to water in their own homes. Conserving water helps reduce the efforts needed by sanitation and sewage plants and cuts down on household expenses.

Where do we begin? The first step is to identify what we use water for in our homes. Then we need to decide what we can do to cut down on the amount we use, either eliminating wasteful habits or improving the efficiency of our water usage by installing fixtures and accessories that are more efficient.

One area that needs close attention is the bathroom, where nearly 65 percent of the water in an average household is consumed. And it is essential to look at our personal habits that involve water.

Most of the water ‘’consumed’’ during our daily activities is simply wasted. Many people, for example, leave the tap open while they brush their teeth, or they run the washing machine without a full load of laundry.

But you can take measures to save water:

· Don’t use the toilet as a garbage can, and don’t flush if it isn’t necessary.

· A quick shower uses less hot water than a filling a bathtub – and saves energy.

· Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the tap run to obtain cold water to drink.

· More than 50 percent of the water used to irrigate lawns and gardens is lost to evaporation or to run-off from excessive watering. To reduce evaporation, water early in the morning.

· When washing your car, use a bucket of water and a sponge instead of a garden hose. This could save as much as 300 liters of water.

· Repair leaky faucets. A leak of just one drop per second wastes nearly 10,000 liters of water in a year. Most leaks are easy and inexpensive to fix.

· If water continues to flow in a toilet even after it has been flushed, it could mean a problem that wastes 200,000 liters of water a year.

* Includes information from the Canadian Ministry of Environment

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