23 Mar World Water Day 2020
As the global population increases, so does the demand for water. Celebrated on the 22nd March annually, this day aims to highlight not only the importance of freshwater, but to advocate for action to be taken regarding the sustainable management of freshwater resources. 2020 explores the relationship between water and climate change, and how using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases.
Policy makers and general society should put water at the heart of all action plans. The depletion of natural resources has had damaging effects to the environment, causing extreme weather events that are making water sources scarcer.
Human activity and climate change threaten the conservation of important natural resources. Wetlands serve a great purpose in our ecosystems. Warmly referred to as ecological kidneys, they filter out pollutants before water reaches waterways. They also help to control floods, mitigate droughts, disinfect wastewater and retain carbon.
Having been threatened by one of the worst drought-induced municipal water crises, Cape Town residents were forced to become water-wise. Reducing demand and wastefulness was a key priority. The City of Cape Town worked to get residents and businesses on board with a host of water-saving initiatives. People were instructed to shower for no longer than two minutes, to only flush the toilet when necessary, and the use of recycled water – so-called greywater – was also pushed.
A year on, the Cape Town’s ‘empty’ dams are now over 80% full and water-use restrictions are now a bit more been relaxed. However, this does not mean that we should forget about water conservation altogether.
Charity begins at home, and yes, it’s as easy as it sounds. Tackling climate change can be very intimidating but there is one thing that everyone can do to effectively act against the negative effects thereof.
DON’T WASTE WATER. That’s all.
Here are a few practical tips you can do in your own home to help save water:
1. Fill up a bucket of water for any task that may require some h20. Running water is wasteful and the water bucket makes for a more economical approach towards tasks such as washing your car or washing your pets.
2. Collect rainwater by directing your gutters into a storage tank and using the reclaimed water for watering your garden.
3. Compared to bathing which uses 60 litres of water on average, 5-min showers use only up to 35 litres on average. Short showers and low-flow shower heads will help to use less water.
These actionable steps will ensure a balance of the world’s water needs. By focusing on the preservation of our invaluable natural resources, adapting to the water effects of climate change will help to protect overall health and livelihoods.