Updated: May 25, 2022
Freshwater is becoming more of a scarce resource with each passing year. Population increase has caused a rise in the water demand, while severe droughts have limited its supply.
We need to save water to keep our daily activities going, to grow the food that we eat and to preserve natural habitats. Saving water also reduces the burden on water treatment facilities, saves money and energy.
More importantly, saving water ensures that we make a sufficient supply of water available for future generations. It also makes it possible for areas with little access to water to get enough to cater to their needs.
This article will examine the reasons and benefits of saving water and simple techniques to help you save more water.
Water is part of our daily life
Water is a limited resource that we are all guilty of taking for granted. By conserving water, more people in the world will have enough water to perform essential day-to-day activities.
We use water in almost everything; it is part of our daily routines and is indispensable. For example, water is a compulsory component in preparing the majority of the food we eat.
Water is needed to stay clean, take baths, and ensure a hygienic environment.
Cleaning the basics like clothes, cars, dishes, utensils all require water. We also need to drink at least half a gallon of water daily. The body can survive without food for up to two months, but the organs begin to shut down after three days without water. To continue to perform these daily activities and keep our bodies healthy, we must look at ways to save water and avoid wastage.
Food can’t grow without water
Humans and animals need food. Plants provide food for both. When there is a water shortage, plants can’t grow because they need water to transport minerals and nutrients from the soil for cooling and photosynthesis.
Agriculture is the primary source of food production, and globally, about 70% of the world’s fresh water is used to irrigate crops. When there is a drought, plants will die, and it becomes difficult to grow food.
What happens when there is no water to grow plants? There will be famine, and the population will starve.
Take a look at the impact of the drought conditions in California. It has affected food production and threatened the water supply. As a result, authorities have urged citizens to conserve water to help speed up emergency drought responses.
Cultivating the habit of saving water means having sufficient water to grow food and sustain life even during droughts. It also ensures that plants can survive and the ecosystem is protected.
Wastewater affects the environment
About 80% of the world’s wastewater goes back into the environment without being treated, which means about 1.8 billion people use a contaminated source of drinking water.
Wastewater is a product of agricultural, industrial, and domestic household practices. Wastewater’s acidity has harmful effects on the environment. When it flows into streams in large quantities, it can raise its temperature, leading to the disturbance of the natural balance of aquatic life.
When you use a lot of water, you increase the quantity of wastewater that goes back to the environment untreated. For example, 62% of indoor water use comes from faucets, toilets, and showers. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), about 23,000 to 75,000 sanitary sewers are overflowing each year.
Adopting innovative water saving techniques can significantly reduce the amount of wastewater that goes into the environment.
There is a limited water supply
Only 2.5% of all water on earth is freshwater, and less than 1% of this is accessible to humans. Not many people think about the sources of water or how much is available for use. Some people believe that we have unlimited access to water, but that is not true.
As the world population continues to increase, water is becoming less accessible. Moreover, with bio-energy demands and climate change, this water crisis is likely to be amplified.
By 2050, researchers estimate that nearly half of the world’s population will live in water scarcity areas. By the end of the century, water deficit is projected to affect about 700 million people globally. These statistics point to one thing: we need to save water.
Saving water prevents groundwater depletion
Pumping groundwater faster and more frequently before it can renew itself leads to an alarming shortage of groundwater supply.
In the United States, groundwater is a valuable resource. Half of the total population relies on groundwater for drinking water. In addition, it provides over 50 billion gallons per day for agricultural needs. Unfortunately, today, many areas across the United States are experiencing groundwater depletion.
Think of groundwater as money being kept in a bank account. If you withdraw more money than you deposit new money, you will eventually run out of money to withdraw. That is precisely water use what is happening with groundwater. There is a constant pumping of groundwater, and the volume of groundwater in storage is decreasing. You will see the impact of these frequent pumping in the drying up of wells, water quality deterioration, and water reduction in streams and lakes.
As we extract more groundwater, there will be less water available. The most severe consequence is that groundwater depletion will force us to dig deeper within the earth to get water, which leads to over-exploitation.
For example, well owners may be forced to deepen their wells or drill new wells when groundwater levels decline, and wells dry up. If the well owner chooses to deepen the wells, there is a risk of lowering the water table. As a result, the water the well can yield will continue to decline.
We also run a risk of the water quality deteriorating. The more the grounds are dug for water, groundwater can be contaminated by saltwater intrusion. This is because continuous water pumping can disrupt the boundary between freshwater and saltwater, leading to saltwater migrating inland. When groundwater is contaminated by saline water, it becomes unusable.
To address groundwater depletion, everyone has a role to play. Using water freely, such as the large amounts of water used for swimming pools, amusement parks, or the water hoses left, have to be controlled.
Turning off the faucet, reducing the use of dishwashers and washing machines, and cutting down unnecessary use of water, are simple ways you can save water.
Conserving water reduces demands on technology and infrastructure
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 34 billion gallons of wastewater are treated by wastewater facilities in the United States daily. In the same vein, approximately 20 percent of homes in the United States use septic systems that locally treat their wastewater.
The more water is used, the more pressure is placed on wastewater treatment facilities. For example, when septic tanks are overburdened by water usage, it can result in water leaking. This untreated water from the leak will have adverse effects on the surrounding soil.
When these wastewater treatment facilities are overloaded with too much water in a short period, their lifespan can be shortened, leading to system failure. The more water is used, the more these facilities wear down and require replacement.
Saving water reduces the demands to create and maintain water treatment and delivery facilities such as septic tanks and sewage plants.
Saving water saves you money
An average American household uses over than 300 gallons of water per day at home. Nationally, outdoor water use accounts for 30% of household use.
Now let's do the math.
The water company charges you for the volume of water you use. This means that if you use less water, you will be charged less. So the next time you leave your garden hose running with water, remember that the water provider monitors your usage, and the bills are coming right at the end of the month.
You can adopt simple water-saving tips to save money and water. For example, you can invest in an eco-friendly shower equipped with a multi-sensor perception technology that allows you to control your water usage while enjoying a pleasing shower experience.
Conserving water saves energy
The pumping of water requires high amounts of energy. This water travels hundreds of miles through pipelines before they get to you. You can reduce your carbon footprint and save energy by simply using less water.
By making intelligent water choices in the home, leveraging energy and water-efficient appliances, you will save a great deal of energy and money.
Wildlife and aquatic life needs water to survive
Water is home to countless species. It also serves as protection from natural hazards and a source of drinking water. Toads, salamanders, and frogs live in water. Butterflies extract valuable minerals from muddy water. River dolphins and diving bell spiders rely on freshwater to survive.
Plants and animals alike require water to survive. It is imperative to save water to protect and sustain wildlife.
There is a global effort to save endangered species, and saving water is critical to attaining that goal. Many of the species rely on water to survive. Saving water means you are giving them life.
Saving water is the right thing to do
Saving water is a social responsibility. As we combat the effects of climate change and a growing global population, we should diligently use the resources we have.
The need for fresh water will constantly increase. The water sources we rely on are declining, and the likelihood of experiencing droughts is higher than ever. The safest choice we have is to start saving water.
Indoors and outdoors, we can adopt water-saving techniques that will have long-term effects on our water usage culture, the safety of our environment and planet.
We need to save water because we need it to grow food, protect aquatic life, save money and energy. Unfortunately, the water supply available on earth is limited. By saving water, we ensure that the groundwater is depleted and the environment is not degraded.
Water is a vital part of our daily life. We protect the ecosystem and ensure that water treatment facilities such as septic tanks and sewage systems are not overburdened by controlling our use.
You can start a water-saving habit by integrating these simple ways to save water at home into your daily activities.