Water which covers 71% of the earth’s surface can be seen as a chemical substance that is colorless in nature. The liquid state is the prevailing state of water at ambient temperature, and it is used by all living organisms. The distribution of water on the earth’s surface is as follows, 96.5% of the water is found in seas, 1.7% occurs as groundwater, the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica holds 1.7% of the crust water, and 0.001% of crust water is found in the atmosphere which reaches the surface of the earth in the form of snow, rain, dew and fog.
Out of this large amount of water stated above only 2.5% of this water is fresh water which is that part of the earth’s water used in our homes for consumption. The standard of water used for consumption in homes undergoes a chemical purification to meet up with a standard set by World Health Organization (WHO) for human consumption in our homes. Scientific studies have shown that fresh water which is a basic resource for the support of human life on earth is gradually becoming scares and in some countries water scarcity drives many people out of the country. Managing our water consumption will not only help preserve the valuable resource but also reduces bills paid on water as we are billed for every liter of water used.
The Different Uses of Water in Our Homes
W.H. Auden made this famous statement “thousands have lived without love, not one without water,” up to date this has not yet been proven wrong. In our homes water is used both inside the house and out of the house, water is needed for bathing, doing laundry, washing dishes, drinking, watering the lawn or the garden and many other activities. Taking a country as example say the United States, a home here has as estimate of its water use distribution as 50% for the bathroom, out of this 50%, 27% goes for the toilet while the remaining 23% goes for showering and sink use. Another 35% of the total water use in the US at homes goes to maintain the lawn or the garden, and the remaining 15% goes for other house hold cleaning services like laundry, cooking and drinking.
Reduce water consumption at home
Domestic use of water accounts of only 10% of the total water used by humans but this is the most important use of water in the human life. Conservation of water in homes implies optimizing the use of water in such a way that water does not get wasted. The various means by which water can get wasted and lead to an increase in billing at homes is through leaving the tap to run when brushing teeth, an undetected leakages, broken pipes, unlicensed use of water, disposal of waste and waste water through the toilet and toilets that use larger amounts of water in their mechanism (especially the old models) just to name a few.
Conservation of water as a tool to reduce water consumption in our homes will mostly depend on our day to day behavior on the use of water, the maintenance and modification of the equipment that helps to channel this water to their various points of usage in our homes. Conservation of water varies in the developed countries to that of the developing countries due to a number of measures. Developed countries mostly use machines for laundry, washing of dishes, cleaning the house and a good meter system that keeps them informed on their consumption and hence they turn to be more efficient in the act of conservation of water and reduce their water bills. On the other hand developing countries due to traditional use of water for all household cleaning activities, conservation of water becomes a tough task as water leakages are not easily detected, the kind of equipment (pipes, meters, toilet) used are hardly replaced by those modified to economize the consumption of water.
When water is conserved at home our water bill gets lower which means less money is paid on bills. This is the message that to be passed to homes because by nature most humans accept to change habits when they see or are aware that there is a benefit in doing so.
The reasoning here is simple basic behavior changes and use of the right equipment can help in a home to save about half of its annual water consumption. Save water by changing behavior; as an example actions like turning off the tap when brushing the teeth, disposing items like tissues and dirty water at the proper disposal sites and not flushing them, reducing the number of times the toilet is being flushed because statistics have shown that up to 1,000 liters of water can be saved annually by avoiding unnecessary toilet flushing.
On the other hand the use of appropriate equipment and toilet modification can as well save water and help for proper water bill rating. According to WATER USE IT WISE in order to detect a leakage in the toilet, food coloring is put into the toilet tank and if it is observed that it is seeping to the toilet without flushing engaged then this shows that there is a leakage and the flushing mechanism has to be revised. One can as well opt to replace the old toilet models with new once which are low flushing, for example the old model uses 13 liters of water per flush while a new modified model uses only 4.8 liters per flush. This helps to save water. In other parts of the world, flushing toilets are replaced with dry toilets which serve as a tool to save water.
Habits that leads to conservation of water
The conservation of water is boosted simply by modifying some of our daily habits that will help us save water; some of these measures are listed below
- Personal washing habits modification
Given that a larger volume of water is needed to take a bath than it is to take a shower, to save water take mostly showers and less baths. Similarly, reduce the pressure on the shower or stop it when soaping yourself, use a more water efficient shower that is the number of liters your shower can pour out per minute at maximum should be known so that you are aware of how much you consume based on your duration under the shower. When using the bath, respect the level of water required in the bath and do not put more than it is required. After using the bath the water can be used to water the garden in the case where plant friendly products have been used and if it is harmful to plants then the water can be used to wash your car, this will help in the conservation of water.
- Clothes washing habit change
The grey water that comes as waste from laundry can be used in a grey water tower or a vertical garden as source of water for plants. 10 liters of water during every wash can be saved in the same like during laundry by washing with a full load. In an event of less than a full load you should use the water control level found on the machine to make sure the proper level of water is used and not more, all of which helps to save water. Deviating towards cold water in washing dark colored cloths, this doesn’t only helps for the conservation of water but saves energy as well and maintains the color of the clothes.
- Water tap behavior change
Today many people allow the tap to run while they are brushing their teeth, soaping their car, and shaving as they know they will use the water flowing from the tap for rinsing forgetting that about 16 liters of water can run out of the tap per minute. As a major for conservation of water a bowl can be used with warm water during shaving, a class of water can be used to rinse the mouth during tooth brushing, and a bucket of water can be used to scrub the car before it is rinsed with the use of the tap. In order to detect leakage you can check if the meter is spinning while all the taps are closed.
During the general assembly meeting held in July 2010 the UN declared that drinking water and sanitation as a human right which has to be met by every country to its citizens. This is true but at the same time in a country drinking water is also seen as an economic good -which brings in revenue to the government. However, the amount of money gotten from water as water bills in some countries is negligible as compared to the cost of maintaining and running the water distribution.
Water bills are charges laid on the public utility product which is water mostly with the help of a meter that rates the consumption rate of its user. Water bills are usually low as compared to the use it has in our home especially because it is abundant in nature as a natural resource. The government has set a mechanism (mostly by subsidizing) that seeks to meet with the balance of supplying water to homes at affordable prices so that even those considered poor in the country can afford clean and freshwater in their homes. The installation and the connection fees together with the cost of installing pumps is separate from the water bill, it is important that prior in installing water at homes the proper metering system and good pipes be used because they will help reduce the water wasted and therefore in the long run reduce the water bills.
Why setting water bills on consumed water?
The population growth rate in our towns is exponential; this has resulted to more persons who need water services at their homes. Water bills help provide some minimum income necessary for the expansion, operation and maintenance of fresh water. The existence of the water bill system itself has created the need for people to adopt habits that lead to the conservation of water as a natural resource.
Utility bill on water
Utility bills is referred to a document made by an authority and sent to an address demanding payment for the consumption of a commodity like water most especially in homes and it comes once a month. Understanding how you are billed on water through utility bills makes you aware of your consumption status and gives you an idea on how to start planning on how to save water to pay less bills. There are different types of units used by different utilities as a means of measuring the water consumed. There are two common units used by utility bills on water as it is consumed in large quantities by individuals at homes. These most common units are the gallon and CCF (Centum Cubic Feet) which can also be referred to as the HFC (Hundred Cubic Feet).
On average, the usage of water at homes can be determined through the utility bills by a very simple mathematical procedure. When the utility bill on water arrives at the end of the month you simply take the total reading of consumed units and subtract the one of the previous month then you will get the number of units you have consumed. Utility bills can be sent to our homes by courier and as we follow up our consumption we can efficiently plan to pay lesser bills by saving water.
Fresh water is vital for life and simple change of habits from us can help us at the same time preserve this resource and save money as we consume it wisely as explained. Good to remember that thousands live without love but none has ever lived without water.