Water resources on earth are unevenly distributed. The rainfall that replenishes the freshwater resources depends on the weather. Climate change is only one factor which creates an imbalance in the global water cycle – to find out more about the factors that influence the water cycle, please read our ‘Our Daily Water’ blog. In the past 50 years, the number of extreme weather phenomena, including droughts, has in some cases increased fivefold and currently, around 2.2 billion people on earth do not have access to safe drinking water.
‘Until then a lot of water will flow down the Limmat!‘ or do we have a water shortage here in the north as well?
Even Switzerland, considered as Europe’s water castle, is not exempt from extreme weather conditions as explained in the current Hydrological Yearbook of Switzerland 2020 ‘Topics of droughts will increasingly concern us in the forthcoming years: whilst hydrologic forecasts and flood warnings become more and more accurate, there are still major deficits predicting droughts.’
Insane amounts of water – but luckily there is still plenty of saving potential!
The Swiss daily water footprint for drinking, cooking, and cleaning water is around 170 litres of drinking water. Amongst Europeans, water consumption varies from country to country – from the highest water consumption of up to 243 litres a day amongst Italians, to the lowest at around 50 litres a day in Malta. Thanks to a more conscious way of using drinking water and improved technology in washing machines, dishwashers, cisterns and taps, direct water consumption in Swiss households had continuously decreased in recent decades. Direct water usage is our water footprint and indicator of the amount of water we use in our homes daily.
We have listed our top 8 water-saving tips, which help to reduce your water footprint at home
- Replace your old toilet flush with a modern one – as it uses three to six litres of water whereas older flushes use 40 litres of clean drinking water per flush. That is 12.775 litres per person per year and 27% of direct drinking water consumption.
- Shorter showers and fewer baths – a single bath use approx. 150 to 200 litres of water. Taking a single shower uses approx. 30 to 80 litres – depending on the water flow of the showerhead and the duration of the shower.
- Use water-saving showerheads – these can reduce water consumption by up to 6 litres per minute.
- Turn off the tap – for example, whilst brushing your teeth, washing, or shaving. Fruits and vegetables can be washed in the sink, or a bowl and the water can be re-used for watering flowers.
- Repair dripping taps – they are a real waste of drinking water.
- Modern washing machines or dish washers – use less water and save energy at the same time.
- Limit the flow of your washbasin tap – because when fully turned on, more than 10 litres of water per minute flow through the pipe. With the help of aerators (flow limiters), the amount can be reduced to 5 litres per minute.
- Rainwater or pasta and potato water – are full of nutrition and ideal for watering gardens.
The water footprint is not only about direct usage. Stay tuned to find out how your water consumption can expand over the border in our next blog in March.