Save Water Save Life
by Devika Chaturvedi, India
Nature has given us water
That is very useful,
We cannot live without it,
It makes our life beautiful.
If there was no water,
We would not have rain,
The most pleasant time in the world,
The hot sun we suffer again and again
If you waste the precious water,
The life would become a bowing knife, It would be criticized by the other planets,
“Ha! You said that you bear life.”
Today is World Water Day. What does this day mean for you? If it does not mean too much, could it be that you live in a country where access to clean water- clean drinking water in particular- is plentiful? In Canada, for instance, we have so much water to spare, we can afford to ship water to the United States of America for their usage. Access to water is one of the most critical concerns in many parts of the world. As populations increase, so will concerns about water.
In Vancouver, British Columbia we have some of the world’s most drinkable tap water. Many Vancouverites do not feel the need to purchase bottled water, or keep bottled water at home. Even here, however, we have had a small taste of what it is like to not have access to drinkable water. A few years ago there was a rain runoff scare that produced high levels of residue in our water. As a precaution, city officials recommended that we avoid drinking water right out of the tap and boil all of our water. It is embarrassing to report that as a result of this news, many residents panicked and rushed the stores to buy bottled water. In a Costco on the east side of the city there was was a stampede for water and some people were crushed in the chaos. This reality left us with a sick feeling. We wondered if we ever had a true crisis in this city, how would we act towards our neighbours? On this World Water Day it is a good time to reflect with our family about our blessings in terms of access to water. As a household we also need to look at how we use water, how much we use and ways that we can reduce our water usage.
Do a water audit with your children. Go around the house and property, with clipboard in hand, and look at the ways water is either used on your property or runs through your property. Draw up a list of suggestions for improvement and post it on your fridge for future contemplation over the upcoming weeks.
Are your systems and habits sustainable?
Could improvements be made?
Can the children think of ways that you could save water, or even collect water?
Look at videos online that talk about water constraints and concerns in other countries. Discuss how these concerns are similar or different from those in your neighbourhood. For example pollution concerns could be similar, but access to water constraints could be different
Here are some of the obvious ways to save water that most of us know and, hopefully, follow:
– check toilets, faucets and pipes for leaks
– only use the toilet for its designed purpose (not as a garbage can requiring extra flushing)
– analyze your water meter for hidden water leaks
– install water saving shower heads, low flow faucet aerators and low water usage toilets
– if you have a standard toilet, put a plastic bottle or brick in your tank
– take shorter showers and choose showers over baths if you can
– insulate your water pipes
– do not run the water unnecessarily when you are washing your car, brushing your teeth, cleaning vegetables, washing dishes, cleaning the driveway and sidewalk, shaving or washing up
– avoid using the garbarator as they require a lot of needless water to flush items through the choppers
– keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge
– plant plants and flowers that can withstand drier conditions
– add mulch around trees and plants
– position your sprinklers carefully
– water your lawn when needed and heed city bans on watering
– deep soak your lawn and water your lawn at night or early morning – not when it’s windy
– use organic matter in your garden and efficient watering systems
– always wait until you have a full load before you start your washing machine or dish washer
Here are some websites with fun ideas for children:
Eco Kids Water Conservation Around the House
Water Use it Wisely: Kids Fun and Games
Eartheasy.com provides further details about these water saving measures
American Water and Energy Saves has provided 49 tips for water conservation inside and outside
Wateruseitwisely.com has provided its own list of 100 tips for water conservation
Article: Battle to keep water public is too important to lose
Here are some more articles focused on water conservation information for families:
BC Residents Drink More Tap Water than the Rest of Canadawater.org
Students Give Water a Voice Contest
Who Health Organization: Water
Global Water: K-8 Students Get Involved
Clean Water and Sanitation (Hope International)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Children spear heading safe water practices in India
Eau Canada: The Future of Canada’s Water
Crocodile Creek Butterfly World Water Bottle
Crocodile Creek Jungle Jive Water Bottle