If anything’s going to get me animated, it’s people’s casual and ill-informed attitude to saving water. Why worry, they say – over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in the stuff and it’s absolutely everywhere, in vapour in the air, in moisture in the ground and in each and every one of us.
Well, yes, but hold on a minute. All but a small fraction of that water is the saline variety. Our precious freshwater resource is only about 3.5% of the total amount – and 69% of that is locked away in frozen ice. What we actually need to be focusing on is the tiny percentage that represents our most precious resource for life – but which is being flushed away down toilets, splashed away through taps left running when we brush our teeth and left to seep away through leaky pipes and outdated water utility infrastructure.
Only recently, Environment Agency chief Sir James Bevan gave a stark warning. Within 25 years, against the backdrop of climate change, he said that England would not have enough water for the nation’s needs. He called it an “existential threat”, talked of the “jaws of death” and said our water security was in real jeopardy unless all of us changed our behaviour. I couldn’t agree more.
To me, prevailing attitudes feel like water torture – and it is indeed time for all of us to take more responsibility. For too long, it’s been easy to sit back and take pot shots at the water authorities. Year after year, we read the same news stories about them being reprimanded for failing to meet targets for reducing waste and fixing that aged infrastructure. They have huge fines levied on them, but still they fail to solve the problem and the cycle of blame continues.
Enough is enough. Isn’t it time WE took responsibility to conserve this most valuable commodity? Surely as caretakers of this beautiful planet, it is our job to step up. The really frustrating thing about all this is that it’s not difficult. In fact, it’s simple to make tiny adjustments that would make a huge difference. Just take a look at the 13 top tips from Friends of the Earth here.
In the Whitten household, we never leave the tap running when we brush our teeth (a running tap wastes six litres every minute) we have a dual flush loo (which uses about 5 litres per flush rather than the old fashioned 13) and we shut off the shower while we lather. And here at SoTerra we’re busy sourcing a new set of simple solutions to water wastage. And again, the theme is incredible simplicity delivering huge impact.
Take the ECOlight water-saving hand shower. I guarantee it will make you shower ‘greener’ – thanks to the ingenious but simple LED illuminated shower jet. For three minutes (30 litres of water use) it glows green, then two minutes (50 litres) yellow, then one minute (60 litres) red, before finally flashing red constantly. You get the picture – in full colour. It is also regulated to the optimum water flow regardless of pressure – which means you’ll be left feeling virtuous as well as clean.
So please spread the word and do feel free to check out more ideas on the water page of our website.