Water is a very important resource giving life to humans, plants and animals. Water is quite a strategic resource that is also at the centre of socio-economic activities that include agriculture, health, energy, manufacturing, tourism, transport and construction among others. However, it must be appreciated that water is a finite resource that needs to be sustainably extracted and utilised. Failure to sustainably use the available water will lead to serious water challenges for present generations.
The world Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that by 2025 half of the world`s population will be living in water stressed areas. The advent of climate change, whose effects have begun to manifest in many parts of the world, combined with unsustainable extraction of the resource, is set to significantly contribute to the envisaged future water challenges. Already the impact of climate change is being felt in many countries, including Zimbabwe, through unpredictable droughts, rainfall patterns, flooding, and prolonged intra -season dry spells.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
With water being a finite resource, it is incumbent that all water users use the available water in a sustainable manner and this includes water conservation. The responsibility to conserve water is no longer the business of water utilities and local authorities alone. In most cases water is wasted in the homes through very small and seemingly insignificant habits and actions.
DID YOU KNOW?
– A full toilet flush can use up to 15 litres of water per flush. Placing a brick or other displacement material in the toilet cistern can reduce this amount to 6 litres per flush.
– Long showers can use up 4 buckets of water every minute.
– The toilet can account for up to 27% of a household`s average of daily water consumption.
– A leaking toilet may not be noticed but can lose as much as 16000 litres of water per year.
– A hose pipe can use as high as 1000 litres of water per hour making the use of watering cans or buckets ideal.
– Turning the tap off when brushing your teeth can save 6 litres of water per minute.
– A dripping tap can waste as high as 15 litres of water per day.
WATER CONSERVATION TIPS IN THE FIELD:
Agriculture remains one of the top users of water in Zimbabwe. It is therefore imperative that farmers practice water conservation in their activities. The following can be done to reduce water use in the fields.
1. Using water efficient irrigation methods such as drip.
2. Repairing all leakages along the irrigation system.
3. Irrigating in the morning or late afternoon.
4. Understanding the different water requirements for crops at different stages of maturity.
5. Avoiding irrigation on windy days
6. Growing drought resistant crops crop varieties
WATER CONSERVATION TIPS IN THE HOME:
A lot of water is inadvertently wasted in the homes daily. The following practices can result in a household using less water and consequently reduce their monthly water bills.
1. Using buckets when bathing and not the shower.
2. Where the shower is used, fix it with a low flow or small shower head.
3. Using buckets to water gardens instead of using hosepipes.
4. Placing a brick in the toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water used to flush.
5. Growing drought resistant flowers and lawns
6. Mulching gardens
7. Using water from swimming pools and other uses to water plants
8. Using water from water glasses, mugs, tumblers or cups when brushing teeth instead of using a running tap.
9. Watering the gardens early in the morning or in the evening when evaporation is low.
10. Using grey water to water plants.
11. Using buckets and not hose pipes when washing cars.
12. Repairing leaking taps and toilet cisterns.
13. Using smaller toilet cisterns
14. Doing laundry using dishes and not using running taps.
15. Washing plates in water filled sinks as opposed to using running taps.