Water Day 2019: reflections and tips for the future

By Chiara Vasconi

Water crisis is at the doorstep!

Numbers speak for themselves. Global water use has increased six-fold compared to 100 years ago and is continuing to increase by 1% per year. Within 30 years the world might need 30% more water than today. Such a rise in demand could trigger economic and political conflicts worldwide: in the coming years water might become the ground for new wars and political instability. It will be a source of wealth for some countries and companies, and simultaneously the cause of economic decline and political instability for others, as it happened with oil in the 20th century.

The combined effects of overpopulation, climate change, excessive water consumption and pollution are jeopardizing fresh water availability on our planet.

Water crisis is not on its way, it is already here, as Angelo Romano details in his article https://www.valigiablu.it/crisi-acqua/, and the consequences may be terrible, because the lack of water endangers the survival of people …of many people.

The UN are the first to sound the warning about global water scarcity.

This phenomenon may affect about 5 billion people by 2050, which means that approximately half of the world population estimated at that date will not have fresh water for 1 month per year.

22nd March is the World Water Day: this anniversary, instated by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1992, is aimed at raising public awareness on the crucial importance of the primary asset par excellence: safe water. Also, it wants to promote a sustainable management of water resources.

It is about time for everybody to commit and LIMIT WATER WASTAGE; there are many precautions we can implement on a daily basis:

  • Close the taps properly: don’t leave them dripping
  • Put flow limiters or aerators on home taps, thus halving consumption and yet maintaining the same pressure
  • Have a shower instead of a bath: on average, filling a bath tub means using four times more water than having a shower.
  • In order to reduce water consumption, don’t leave it run unnecessarily, leave the tap open only for the time needed: while tooth brushing, shaving or lathering under the shower turn the water off. Using taps with automatic closing systems such as self-closing and electronic ones helps a lot in reducing  water waste.
  • In the bathroom, choose a dual-flush WC with two buttons: the ECO low flush button (typically 6 litre flow, but it can be less) uses half the amount of water compared to the traditional flow (12 litres)
  • Wash dishes, fruit and vegetables in a bowl and use running water only for rinsing.
  • Collect running water while waiting for it to reach the desired temperature and reuse it to wash vegetables or water plants, for instance.
  • Reuse water to wash vegetables or irrigate the garden.
  • Water the plants in the evening: after sunset the water evaporates slower.
  • Reuse the water collected by dehumidifiers or conditioning units to water plants, for the iron or whatever does not require drinking water