As we celebrate Organic September and Zero Waste Week, this week is also World Water Week (31st August – 5th September 2014) and water is one thing we should never take for granted (although we all usually do of course – every day!)…
Global leaders gathered in Stockholm on 1st September for the 24th annual World Water Week, urging energy and water communities to work together to face some of the main challenges of our time providing clean drinking water and energy for a growing world population. The theme of 2014 World Water Week is “Energy and Water”.
In the UK, the excessive amount of water we all use every day at home is putting an unsustainable demand on our planet’s resources, biodiversity and people, and by using, and wasting, a lot of water we are also using, and wasting, a lot of energy (and money of course).
World Water Aid tell us that there is also a global water crisis, as every minute, every day, people in poorer countries suffer and lives are lost needlessly, simply because of a lack of safe water and sanitation. Most of us cannot even begin to imagine what this must be like, so we can at least make a small effort to save water and recycle it where we can, so as not to put a further strain on our fellow people and the Earth.
Eat less meat to save water (and help stop climate change too!)
As I mentioned here on the Dorset Energized blog last year for last World Water Week (where does the time go?!), it takes 10,000 – 20,000 litres of water to produce just 1kg of beef! This compares with around 1,200 litres for 1kg of maize and 1800 for a kilo of wheat. I have also read this week that to produce a day’s food for just one meat-eater takes over 4,000 gallons of water! Read more about water use in intensive factory farming on Compassion in World Farming’s RAW website (under Resource Waste).
According to the Vegetarian Society, farming accounts for around 70% of all freshwater taken from lakes, waterways and underground water supplies, much of it to produce meat. Waterways also run with manure, antibiotics and hormones washed in from the land and all sorts of pollutants from industrial fish farms.
We all know by now that we need to eat a lot less meat, and reports on how a plant-based vegan diet is the most eco-friendly and can help end climate change and reduce our impact on the environment, are all over the news and social media at the moment. I highly recommend visiting The Vegan Society website for more advice. I can vouch that being vegan makes you feel good too – on every level, and I truly feel it is one of the best decisions I ever made : )
Fracking uses millions of gallons of water
As one of our users previously commented on our blog – fracking uses a staggering 3 to 8 million gallons of water per frack. The water is also so toxic with chemicals and radioactive particles that it cannot be recycled and when the well leaks (as all wells do eventually) the water table will also be contaminated.
So yet another reason (as if any sane person needed one) to oppose fracking and support clean energy instead. Find out more at http://frackfreedorset.org.uk
Go Go Hydro Power!
Renewable energy is all about positively harnessing the power of nature to generate clean and sustainable energy, and hydro-electric power which comes from using water to turn a turbine, supplies around 20% of the world’s electricity and yet it is still barely being used at all in the UK even though apparently we have one of the highest wave energy potentials in Europe, if not the world!
For more information on how we can use water as a renewable energy source to make hydro-electricity, here in Dorset and the UK, see our section all about Water Power which also links to local hydro-power projects.
Use less water to reduce your water footprint
- Turn off the taps in-between brushing your teeth
- Fix dripping taps
- Take short showers instead of a bath
- Install water-saving, low-flow shower heads
- Collect rainwater
- Collect rinsing water
You can also check out Waterwise’s Quick Tips and Facts on Saving Water.
And as always, remember that small changes in your every habits really can make a big difference – and it all starts with you and me!