Welcome back to MJ Aquablog! It’s been a while since the last post, so it was time to make something new.
We’ve already learned that only about 0,007% of all water on Earth is readily available to produce drinking water. We, as humanity, should be extremely careful with it. It’s not only about trying not to pollute it with garbage but also about the overall consumption. I don’t mean only drinking, we use water for cooking, bathing or washing our clothes. That all adds up and while your body needs about 3 litres of water per day to survive, an average human uses a lot more water in a day.
I will discount the virtual water. Virtual water is all water that is required for production of food and goods. If you check our Instagram, you’ll find more info but just to give example, one beef steak requires almost 5000 litres of water! So, if you’re interested in finding out, what is your total water consumption, there are numerous calculators online, for example here:
In this article, we will only count the water that people use directly. This number varies a lot throughout the world. An average American needs around 400 litres a day, while average European needs just about 120 litres and an African only 50 litres a day. These numbers are dependent on the given country culture and way of life. Generally speaking, people in the countryside use less water than people living in the cities. The reason is quite simple, people in the countryside often collect the rainwater and use it for various purposes where a person living in the city uses the tap water. Very important factor is also the availability of water. In Africa, water can be rare and difficult to reach causing people to save as much as possible.
Below, you can find a chart that shows how people use the water at home:
It’s still kind of mind boggling that Americans use so much more water! I tried to look deeper and from what I found it seems that American love taking baths and long showers. In one discussion thread on Reddit people also argued that Americans care more about their hygiene, so they shower even several times a day. Showering is way better than bathing if we take the amount of water needed. Of course, if we compare half hour shower to one full bath, the bath comes a winner. Generally, a bath can require up to 100 litres of water while shower takes about 8 litres per minute, which also depends on the type of shower you have installed.
With Míša, we are trying to step up our eco lifestyle in recent months. Even before taking additional measures we used 86 litres of water per person per day. This number is close to the average Czech citizen (90 litres). Now we live in Spain where it average is 130 litres, so our number is quite ok, but we were able to decrease it to 71 litres.
The higher water consumption here in Spain might be connected to the warmer climate. There are just so many factors you just cannot blame other countries for using more, however, everyone has the options to save at least little bit of water every day.
Saving water means also saving your money. It’s not a substantial amount but you don’t find this money just lying on the street, so it definitely counts. Plus, it doesn’t require much work. Here some quick tips:
- Shower rather than bath (Are you a couple? Then, shower together!)
- Try to have modern toilet with 2 settings for flushing, so you don’t flush your pee with full cistern
- In addition to that, you can choose not to flush after peeing too (I understand that some might find that disgusting, but it saves a lot of water)
- When brushing teeth, don’t let the water run the whole time (up to 12 litres), rather fill a cup with water (0,2 litres)
- Washing dishes is the best with fully loaded dishwasher or in the sink filled with water rather than washing under running water
- When you cook, try to wash veggies and fruits also in some bowl rather than under running water
So, these are kind of the basics. People living in the most developed parts of the world are a bit spoiled. We often don’t realize how much stuff we waste and that’s not only about water. It more comfortable to waste and that’s the problem. Saving something requires effort, often little, but still some. Plus, it’s a habit too. When we decided to use cups of water during brushing teeth, we often filled them but then automatically used the tap and left the cups untouched. It took us several weeks to get rid of this habit but now, it’s natural for us to use the cups.
We lowered our water consumption also by changing our way of washing dishes and that also needed some time. It’s just easier to turn on the water and wash everything under it but again, after some time, we got used to the new process.
To be honest, we also don’t flush after peeing most of the times. You don’t need to be afraid of smell if you clean your toilet regularly. We definitely can’t tell the difference and anyone who comes for a visit neither.
Thank you for reading up to this point. If more people follow the guidelines, we can save so much water! Together, we can be the change, step by step. Try it out, laugh at your failed attempts as we did numerous times before we got used it too and spread the word.
Next topic is going to be kind of milestone for our project. We are working on a solution to a problem that makes us angry practically every day. Until then, all the best!