Water is a vital part of human life. It is used in various daily activities that constitute the essentials of human life. Water is consumed for drinking, taking a bath or showering, brushing one’s teeth, cleaning up the house or the car, watering the plants, and such. Although water is a naturally-occurring substance as it is obtained from the environment, it faces the challenge of preservation as worldwide human activities are causing some changes in the atmosphere and the environment that might lead to the depletion of water sources.
The endless cutting of trees, the pollution of bodies of water and water systems, urban development, and flawed waste disposal schemes are human activities that impact the quality of water sources and the quantity of water that might be obtained from them. (“Appendix 1- Human Activities and their Potential Impact on the Environment”) The depletion of water resources is a serious matter that everyone should think about. Limited water resources means that human life also hangs in the balance, as it is as much dependent on water to maintain the quality of life.
Therefore, time and effort should be allotted by everyone around the world to preserve water resources in order to ensure that the quantity of water present in the environment would suffice in providing the needs and demands of human life. In the remainder of this text, a discussion will be made on how water might be saved based on daily activities that might be restrained or controlled to consequentially limit the consumption of water, saving and preserving it in the process.
The discussion will follow an account of activities that I have done for one week. For the first day of the week (Sunday), early morning, I turned on the sprinklers to water the plants in the garden made up mostly of different kinds of flowers and herbs. The sprinkler was on for about thirty minutes in the morning, pre-programmed to automatically shut off after that. For the rest of the day, other activities involving the use of water included tasks prior to attending church services and entertaining visitors for the rest of the afternoon.
Water was consumed by taking a bath and brushing my teeth prior to attending the Sunday mass, cooking lunch and preparing drinks for visitors, and cleaning up the house afterwards. Drinking eight to twelve glasses of water a day is another inevitable and health activity. In addition, utilizing the toilet for urinating and other purposes will also require the consumption of water for flushing the emissions considering hygiene and other health-related reasons. For the next day, I utilized water by showering and brushing my teeth before attending to my classes, work, and other urgent activities.
I cooked meals for breakfast and then as part of everyday routine, I turned the sprinkler on. Before going out of the house, I also washed the dishes. At school and at work, I bought around four bottles of mineral water to consume for the day. During break time and before the lunch and dinner meals outside, I wash my hands at the bathroom sink and relieve myself when necessary never failing to use the flush when I am done. When I go home, I do usually shower before going to bed. The activities done on Monday with regards to the consumption of water are practically the same until the last day of the week.
The activities are similar for the weekdays, except for Wednesday when I do the laundry. I do the laundry at my own home and I use a washer to do it. I usually load water fully on the washer four times for washing, rinsing, and conditioning the clothes. The next time I do the laundry will be on Saturdays. I stay at home on Saturdays doing various house chores; all seem to require the consumption of water. Aside from the routinary activity of turning on the sprinkler every morning to water the plants, the next I would do on a Saturday will be to wash and clean the car.
I have observed that around three to five buckets of water is used during the cleaning time, and a lot more when I rinse the car using a water hose. Although I stay at home, I do drink bottled water stored in the fridge sometimes. Looking back at the week’s water consumption, I realized that there could have been ways to limit the use of water in order to conserve it and not use up too much water unnecessarily. For some of the activities I mentioned, there could have been other sources of water that should have been used instead of consuming clean water directly from the water source.
There are ways to control the use of water, if possible, and sometimes, it is also advisable to reuse water if it is necessary to utilize water that was already used. Perhaps, the sprinkler system used the most quantity of water which could have been saved as other sources are available for watering the plants. Although flowers and herbs need watering daily, they do not specifically need to be watered with water directly from the water source. Unlike other activities such as taking a bath, cooking and preparing drinks, and cleaning up the house, watering plants do not require the consumption of clean water.
I could have utilized other sources of water for watering the plants. For instance, the water used after taking a bath and washing the dishes could have been used to water the plants. This could be done by storing water used in pails or buckets and then watering the plants manually. This will not only save water consumption, but also electricity. Although the water that will be used is not entirely clean, flowers and herbs are not sensitive to the quality of water just as long as they do obtain the right amount for everyday.
Another way to save water for the purpose of watering the flowers and herbs in the garden is to store rain water in pails, buckets, or barrels. It would be wise to place these pails, buckets, or barrels outside the house just in case it rains. When it rains, not only will the flowers and herbs be watered directly from it, leaving the use of the sprinkler unnecessary, but one can also obtain rain water for other days to use on watering the plants. This will limit the use of the sprinkler, thus, eliminating the need to turn it on daily as other means of obtaining water for this purpose are available.
I figured that one possible way to save water while taking a bath through the shower is by storing water on pails or buckets as aforementioned. It may sound ridiculous to do so, but the need to conserve water and preserve water resources is much more important than doing things unconventionally. One could store used water by standing on a basin while taking a bath. This would allow one to store the water inside the basin and use it for other purposes, such as watering the plants or cleaning the driveway, flushing the toilet, and other activities that do not readily require clean water.
This controls the consumption of water and promotes ways on reusing water to avoid squandering available water resources. Prior to this activity, I used to brush my teeth and rinse my mouth with water coming directly from the faucet. Now, I realized that I am wasting water by utilizing it carelessly as there is another way of consuming water while brushing one’s teeth that is clearly more sensible. Leaving the faucet open while brushing and washing one’s teeth leads to the unnecessary consumption of water. Water escapes through one’s hand and mouth without being used properly.
I could have saved water during this daily activity by rinsing my mouth with a glass of water. The amount of water that will be used during this activity may be controlled, unlike water coming from the faucet which is irrepressible. (“110 Ways to Save Water”) Another way to save water is to refrain from purchasing bottled mineral waters outside the home. There are ways to save not only water, but also expenses, by utilizing other means of obtaining safe drinking water. For instance, a water purifier could be purchased to be able to obtain safe drinking water.
One could just refill bottles with them leaving the need to purchase bottled waters unnecessary. Limiting the activity of doing the laundry for one day instead of two will also help in controlling water consumption. For instance, as mentioned, I load the washer four times every time I do laundry, from the first washing until the rinsing and conditioning part. I do the laundry during Wednesdays and Saturdays so every week, I load the washer with water eight times. Water could be saved during this activity if I do the laundry once a week.
It is best to wait to do laundry when everything that needs to be washed is in the hamper or the washer. In this way, I would be able to finish the task at one time, limiting the use of water for the week. In washing the car, it would be best to not use the water hose to finish the task. Storing water in pails or buckets and using the dipper to manually wash the car saves water and also allows the thorough cleaning of the car as one can control the area being cleaned and the amount of water that will be used in washing it.
Using the water hose does not help in limiting the amount of water as one cannot gauge and control the amount of water that comes from it. From observing the weeks’ activities, I have learned that some of the activities that I do clearly tolerate the over consumption and unnecessary use of water. From this experience, I have also learned various ways that could help in limiting the amount of water that will be used for a specific period of time and activities.
Planning how to use water wisely will help in the conservation of water and the preservation of water resources that will benefit human beings in the long run.
“110 Ways to Save Water. ” (2008). Retrieved from City of Tampa. 19 November 2008. <http://www. tampagov. net/dept_Water/information_resources/Saving_water/110_Ways_to_Save_Water. asp> “Appendix 1- Human Activities and their Potential Impact on the Environment. ” (2007). Retrieved from OAG-BVG. 19 November 2008. <http://www. oag-bvg. gc. ca/internet/English/meth_gde_e_19283. html>