When reservoir levels reach a certain low in Britain, hoses are banned. Car-washing anywhere but in a recognized car wash, incurs fines. If water levels become seriously low, delivery of water to houses is cut off and standpipes are put in place for people to go and get their water in containers; an effective deterrent for wasting water.
Country folk also make an effort to economize their water. Because the cost of water is forever increasing, they use recycled water whenever they can.
In the 70’s (!) in the town of La Ciotat, which is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, my host’s house only used rain water for showers and toilets. We were asked to be frugal with the water we used because, otherwise, we’d run out. (I would like to mention here that the Spanish island of Majorca has a restricted water supply. The hotel where I stayed had signs asking customers not to waste water and I was told that tankers are obliged to deliver fresh water regularly to the island.)
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There has been a whole new market development based on recycling, filtering and generally economizing water.
It had been estimated that more than a quarter of the daily water use concerns toilets.
When new toilets are installed here these days, they have a two flushing system – one for a flash rinse, the other for a more thorough wash. Because older houses don’t necessarily have this new system, those of us without don’t flush the toilet every time for urine alone.
Some new houses have an ingenious system for recovering all the ‘used’ water coming from the sink and the shower/bath for use in the toilet. As the water is not greasy like kitchen water may be, the filtering of it is easy. This technique can be installed in older houses too.
The use of a ‘dry’ toilet, which doesn’t use water at all, has been used in Sweden for decades. The idea has begun to take hold in other European countries. One of my daughters will be using it in her newly bought house.
Few people here in Europe take the waste of water lightly, especially when we see what has happened in California and elsewhere.
The water problem concerns everyone, including those who have money and who feel they can pay for the privilege of wasting water? Do you or your neighbour water the lawn, for example? You have only to look around at those lawns that are green in the summer.
Money will not quench thirst when water is no longer potable due to chemicals used unnecessarily in agriculture or industry, which infiltrate the water table. Remember the film based on a true story ‘Erin Brockovich?’
As an advocate of vegetarianism, dare I say it?
Indirectly, this all points back to eating less meat, breeding fewer animals and growing fewer crops to feed them, both of which take enormous quantities of water for the small amount of meat it gives. Animal manure also adds to water pollution.
Plus, we all know that meat in not good for us and that people eat far too much of it.
If the water situation doesn’t affect you personally, have a thought for your children and grandchildren in the years to come.
We have to start NOW to make a difference.
p.s. No, I have not forgotten to mention all those big corporations/companies who exploit the use of water. Some are said to stock great quantities for later use!
This blog is to draw attention to the crisis because it is we who need to start taking action.
Those corporations are made of people. The day will come when pressure will come to bear on them thanks to us.