Water changes everything. It helps to right gender imbalances and improves access to education. It’s key to fighting food insecurity, disease and poverty. But nearly one billion people lack reliable access to it—and with irresponsible water use, climate change and rapid population growth that number could reach three billion by 2050.
Sustainable land use, especially in agriculture, is a huge part of the solution. But you can also make a difference with a few small changes to your daily routine. To mark World Water Day, here’s a few ideas to help you use less water and become part of the solution.
1. Eat less meat and dairy. It takes anywhere from 340 to 1135 litres of water to produce a single serving of chicken, pork or beef.
2. When you buy tropical products – like coffee, tea or bananas, make sure they feature the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Farms that earn our certified mark prioritise water conservation and the protection of streams and waterways.
3. Have a short shower instead of a bath, and turn off the tap when shaving or brushing your teeth. A running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute. If the entire adult population of England and Wales remembered to do this, we could save 180 mega litres a day – enough to supply nearly 500,000 homes.
4. Clothes washing now accounts for 15 percent of the water used in our homes. Do your laundry only when you have a full load, apply water-saving settings and upgrade to energy- and water-efficient washers and dryers.
5. Save the rain – Over 21,000 litres fall on the roof of the average UK home, if you install a water butt you can use this on your garden.
6. Check your house for leaks, which can result in the loss of over 35,000 litres of water a year. That’s enough to fill a swimming pool.
7. Recycle. You can save 13 litres of water by recycling a single newspaper.
8. Change to a dual flush toilet, which uses 4-6 litres of water as opposed to the old style flush systems that use a massive 13 litres per flush. An estimated 2 billion litres of water every day is flushed away everyday in the UK!