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Water Conservation Tips for Schools
Facts & Figures
Here are some interesting facts & figures about water:
1. 99% of the world’s water cannot be used because it is either saline (i.e. salt water) or is locked up in glaciers and ice sheets.
2. Most of the remaining water is present in rocks as groundwater (approx. 0.6%), while just over 0.3% is present in rivers and lakes.
3. Rapid expansion in urban populations has resulted in increased pressure on Local Authority waste water treatment facilities
4. A tap dripping once a second wastes about 10,000 litres of water a year.
5. A hosepipe or sprinkler can use 1,000 litres (or 1 tonne) of water per hour. This is as much as a family of four would normally use in two days!
6. Our own bodies are two thirds water and our brains are at least 85% water!
7. A person can survive a month without food, but can only survive 5 or 6 days without water.
8. A powershower uses almost 125 litres of water in 5 minutes. That's a massive 250 litres in 10 minutes!
9. Shortage of water could lead to major political conflicts around the world. Over 20 countries depend on the flow of water from other countries for their water supply e.g. Ethiopia.
10. The World Bank estimates that by 2025 1.4billion people in 48 countries may experience water stress or scarcity.
10 Tips to Save Water
1. Don't let the tap run
It's crazy to let the tap run just because you want a cold drink of water. Keep a jug in the fridge and enjoy a lovely cool glass whenever you want it.
2. Be a leaky tap detective
Leaky taps waste water so if you hear one in your house or school - tell someone – and make sure it gets fixed.
3. Don't run while brushing!
Did you know that a running tap uses 6 litres of water in a minute? Don't leave the tap running when brushing your teeth.
4. Spend less time washing
No, really! Spend less time in the shower. And avoid baths because they use more than twice the volume of water compared to a shower.
5. Use your head - use a bucket.
A running hose uses 500 litres of water in an hour. Next time you're washing the family car try using a bucket and sponge instead of a hose. It'll be just as clean and more fun too.
6. Don't be mean if your clothes aren't clean!
A typical washing machine on full cycle uses up to 65 litres of water. It should only ever go on when it's full. Even if you have to wait sometimes for your favourite clothes to get washed you'll be helping to conserve water.
7. Say 'no' to the hose
If you have to water your plants use a watering can. You'll use less water and it's lots more enjoyable too.
8. Use a basin to wash your fruit and vegetables
Instead of letting the tap run, use a basin to wash your fruit and vegetables. You can use the leftover water to give your potted plants a drink.
9. Don't abuse it - re-use it
If there's a basin in your sink (and there should be) don't spill it out when it's full - use it to water the plants in the garden. But don't forget to ask an adult first.
10. Spread the word
Tell everyone how important it is to save water - and how easy it is to do!
What You Can Do
Outlined below are a number of ideas for conserving water.
It has been shown that careful water management, can reduce water use from 12 cubic metres (12 tonnes!) per student per year to 4 cubic metres a year. The following points list some of the many ways in which you can make sure your school is using water carefully and efficiently.
No/Low Cost Options
Behaviour: Raise awareness and try to improve behaviour, both in the school and in the home. Making people think how they can reduce their own water consumption can be very effective.
Leaks and drips: Any leakage occurring in pipes on the school’s property will waste water. Leaking taps can usually be repaired simply by replacing worn washers. The prompt reporting of drips, leaks, jammed or faulty taps, and other problems by students should be developed and seen as a whole-school responsibility.
Higher Cost Options
Washroom taps: If the flow rate of taps is too strong, can it be adjusted to ‘just adequate’? Self-closing or percussion taps that close automatically after a preset period could be used instead of conventional screw taps to effectively reduce water consumption. Taps with spray heads can reduce water consumption by up to 50%,
Toilets: Ensure that urinal cisterns flush at the minimum frequency required and consider installing control devices. It is important that any reductions in volume are not carried out at the expense of effective flushing.
Outside the School: Water butts can be used to collect rainwater, which is better for plants. It is important however to always be concerned with safety when dealing with water butts.
Conserving Water at Home:
- Turn off the taps when washing your teeth - you can save 6 litres of water.
- Take a shower not a bath - don't use power showers as a 10 minute shower uses as much water as 3 baths!
- Fill the kettle for the right amount - you can save energy as well!
- Use waste water from dish washing to water your plants
- Never use a hose pipe in your garden
- Always fix leaking taps
- Use your dish washer and washing machine only when they are full thus saving energy as well!