Whilst forgetting which day of the week it is, baking banana bread and having online meetings with colleagues, there is one thing that probably isn’t at the forefront of everyone’s minds currently. Saving water. Being cooped up inside all day is likely to lead to us using up water quicker than usual and this week is Water Saving Week, a reminder that we shouldn’t.
Why should we reduce our water consumption? The significant water usage of the UK has many different impacts on the environment and just like many other things we need to reduce our use of, it also plays a role in causing climate change. Nearly 1% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from the water industry, therefore if, as a country, we work together to reduce our water usage, we could also reduce our emissions. We all know the negative impacts of climate change by now: flooding, droughts, crop failure, the extinction of many sea creatures and the bleaching of coral as well as much more.Therefore reducing our water usage doesn’t just lower our bills, but also helps to save our environment.
Our extensive water usage also damages the environment directly as a lot of the water we use is taken from rivers and lakes, which wildlife rely on, leading to 13% of freshwater and wetlands species being threatened. We are draining the life from the natural habitats within the UK so all that will be left will be concrete jungles littered with a self-indulgent species.
Reducing our water usage also has a significant impact on our economy, as saving the water we have prevents the government from having to spend more money on building reservoirs and desalination plants. This funding can therefore go elsewhere, such as to investing in the development of sustainable schools.
We as individuals can help to reduce our water usage by doing numerous different things within our homes. By installing water efficient taps, you can reduce your water usage and save money in the long run furthermore, the installation of efficient shower heads can reduce your household bills by up to £120 per year. Saving water doesn’t just save the environment but also your water bills. Small things you can also do in your homes include: turning off the tap whilst brushing your teeth; having showers rather than baths and also having water butts to collect rainwater for your garden.
Whilst we as individuals can take steps to reducing our water usage, encouraging the government to make more water-efficient and sustainable choices can also help on a wider scale to reduce the UK’s water consumption.
Beaumont Primary School, near Ipswich, is one of few schools in the country with systems in place to make sustainable choices. The Primary collects rainwater and stores it in an underground tank and this water is then used to flush toilets in the school as well as water plants. This is a system that should be implemented in all schools across the country, reducing the costs for schools in water bills so that more money can be spent on your child’s education in addition to helping the environment through reduced water usage.
These sustainable schools often have many features as well as water collection, including the use of solar panels. Implementing these methods helps to reduce costs for schools, and help the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels and electricity for transportation of water, energy production and the energy used every single time a toilet is used within a school.
By making water conscious choices within our homes we can help reduce the damage being made to our planet. But by also encouraging the government to support and fund the building and incorporation of sustainable schools, we prepare our country for its more sustainable future.
This week is Water Saving Week and hopefully this will encourage us all to look ahead to the future and consider what we’ll be doing to help make the country more water conscious and reduce our consumption in order to save our environment and keep Britain beautiful.
For more information on what you can do to help reduce the country’s water usage visit www.waterwise.org.uk
And there’s more specifically about Water Saving Week here.
This article was written by Young Reporter Ruby Winter.