The Environment

Water, water everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.

It's a rather appropriate piece of poetry. Only 1% of the Earth's water is fresh water that we can utilise. Another 2.5% is frozen over in the polar ice caps. The remainder is salt water.

Even in the midst of a very cold and wet few weeks of winter, it is important to bear in mind that our water is a precious commodity. In this country we generate about half of our electricity through our hydroelectric power stations so what the weather delivers is pretty important to Kiwis, both feathered and two-legged.

On the subject of water available for us to use personally, there is a lot of talk about conservation and taking greater care of our natural waterways.
I am the recipient of the ARCs "BIG CLEAN UPdate" newsletter and this issue is all about protecting our waterways, so I thought I would share a few bits of information that this includes. It doesn't really matter where in the world you live, the advice and information is probably still relevant.

Some statistics:
"In most households water consumption is fairly evenly split between the toilet, bathroom, kitchen/laundry and outdoors."

  • Outside: 20%
  • Bathroom: 25%
  • Kitchen/Laundry: 25%
  • Toilet: 30%

Obviously if you have a swimming pool, irrigation system or take regular baths rather than showers, your usage may vary.

So, where is all that water going then? Try here:

  • Cleaning teeth: 5 litres
  • Shower (8 minutes) with a normal shower head: 120 litres
  • Shower (8 minutes) with a water efficient shower head: 80 litres
  • Bath (full): 200 litres
  • Toilet (half flush): 6 litres
  • Toilet (full flush): 11 litres
  • Garden hose (on full): 250 litres per 5 minutes
  • Dish washer: Up to 25 litres per wash
  • Washing machine (model dependent) Top loading: 100 – 200 litres
  • Washing machine (model dependent) Front loading: 70 – 85 litres

If you live in a country/city/town/rural area where your water is charged for by your usage rate, then maybe the advice on the BIG CLEAN UPdate page might be of interest to you.

Don't forget to check out your local government websites, they may have specific advice for your area.

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