This week is World Water Week a cause very close to my heart as WaterAid is my favourite charity. It is a sad fact that 884 million people in developing countries have no access to clean water. Many walk miles for a container of dirty unsafe water each day. Every 17 seconds a child dies of a water borne disease. While about 70% of the Earth is covered by water only 3% is in the form of fresh water and the majority of this is in the polar ice caps. WaterAid works on projects to bring safe water and sanitation to communities. it along with other organisations is making slow headway as there was closer to 1 billion people without safe water 10 years ago.
There is a long way to but as populations increase there can be no corresponding increase in fresh water on this small planet.
Tourism can also put strains on water supplies. It is a fact for example that the average water consumption by a French person is 140 litres of water per person per day while at home. When travelling this rockets to 300 litres per person per day! A typical occupied hotel room in the USA consumes 825 litres of water per day! A modern toilet flush will only produce 4.6 litres of water, so that’s an awful lot of flushes. These rates of consumption put tremendous strains on water supplies in some parts of the world. So how can we be more frugal with our use of water while travelling (or at home for that matter)?
Do some research before your travel. Will you be staying in accommodation that has considered sustainability. Do they have measures in place for conserving drinking water such as dual flush toilets, aerated shower heads and tap faucets, do they make use of rainwater or grey water? You might also want to consider energy reduction measures and waste minimisation measures adopted as well.
Obvious really but short showers consume less water than long deep baths.
Finally as it is World Water Week consider supporting a water charity such as WaterAid.