As you know, water is a valuable resource required for all life on earth, yet it is not infinite by any means. Did you know that every day, every human on the planet requires approximately 160.73 liters of essential water (what each of us use every day to drink, cook with, to wash, and to maintain general cleanliness) and, unfortunately, many people exceed this in their day to day use. While gathering statistics for this project, I was shocked by what I learnt about our own water usage. When I discovered that we use 756 liters of water per day in showers alone, I knew I had to do something as this is not sustainable. As you both know, water is a very valuable and natural resource. I do not believe it is cost-effective for us as a family or environmentally sustainable to use this much water on showers alone.
Firstly, the amount of mains water used will place a burden on your wallet. Our family’s last quarterly water bill cost $412.57 – a figure that could be easily reduced if we simply identified problem areas in our water use. The graph that I have produced is color-coded to identify problem areas, and areas which are unsustainable. You will both note that problem areas in our household include: water used in toilet flushes, gardening.
However, there is one area which uses so much water it is unsustainable to continue using it the way we do; this area is our showers. As previously stated, we use approximately 756 liters per day on showers alone. This figure is absolutely astounding. Water approximately costs $0.002362 per liter (Tier 1 Water Use, SAWater). Multiply that by the 756 liters used per day for showers alone, and this will equal $1.78 a day. Per year, this will equal $649.70 we use on showers alone. I really think we could easily reduce our water usage and propose we all start by simply having shorter showers or investing in a water-saving shower head.
Secondly, using this much water places a burden on our environment. While you may argue that 71% of the Earth is covered in water, 97% of that water is salt water and therefore is undrinkable. Our usable water supply is finite, and many countries have almost run out of water from overuse. Droughts are commonplace and, as of April 2018, New South Wales is facing the driest period they have experienced in a decade and Cape Town, South Africa is approximately two years away from ‘Day Zero’; the day where they will finally run out of fresh water. Unless we curb our usage, we may soon be in the same place as South Africa or NSW.
Lastly, conserving water provides a safeguard against rising costs and possible conflict. When faced with shortages, the price of goods and services tend to increase. In countries facing water shortages, the prices tend to rise, and usable water becomes rare and hard to find. As of 2016, in the USA (New York) water costs USD$3.39 (AUD$4.60) for 748 US Liquid Gallons of drinkable water, while in Papua New Guinea, people can spend USD$2.60 (AUD$3.53) for only 13 gallons of drinkable water. If we continue to waste water senselessly, I believe in a matter of years Australia could be in the same place as South Africa or Papua New Guinea.
To conclude, our usage on water per day in our household is staggering and I really think we could easily make changes that will reduce our water usage. So let’s reduce our personal water usage because it will both save us money and also, probably more importantly it will have a long-lasting and positive effect on our environment and our future.
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