Conserve water, it’s a limited resource, public told

Quezon City. While the earth is 71% water, only 1% of it is available and clean enough for drinking.

“This limited yet extremely necessary resource is worth a lot of responsible consuming, especially during the dry season when the heat is up and supply of water is down,” Christina Vergara, EcoWaste Coalition’s Zero Waste Program Officer said in a press release issued this morning.

“As of today, more than 700.9 million people all over the world has no access to safe drinking water,” she added, quoting data from real time statistics Worldometer.

In the country, as early as the 3rd quarter of last year, water authorities have started to warn about possible water shortages this year.

In some parts of Cavite, water supply is already diminishing, such that households in certain areas can already experience lack of water for 2 to 4 days.

As the dry season continues to heat up, the EcoWaste Coalition calls on the public to be responsible water consumers. The following tips were put forward by the coalition to guide each individual on practical water conservation:

1. Dump not; burn not trash to protect our remaining sources of water from contamination. Garbage dumping and burning can release contaminants, like leachate from landfills and toxic ash from areas where trash are burned, which can leach into ground water and even travel downward toward water bodies, such as rivers and seas.

2. Never leave the faucet open, such as while brushing your teeth. You can waste about 5 gallons of water doing that.

3. Never use running water to thaw foods, wash fruits and vegetables, or the dishes. Make use of the basin to do the job. Then collect the used water for other cleaning purposes or for watering plants.

4. Have leaking faucets repaired immediately. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting about 100 gallons of water each day.

5. If possible, never use your toilet flush to avoid draining more than 6 gallons of water at each flush. Save water you have used to wash fruits, vegetables, clothes, and dishes for flushing the toilet.

6. Instead of using the shower, make use of the good ol’ “timba at tabo” duo to do your bath. A 10 minute bath will pour around 40 gallons of precious water down the drain. Better still, stand inside a stable basin as you bathe so you can collect the water and use it to flush the toilet or for other cleaning purposes.

7. Hand washing clothes is still better than using the washing machine as you can control the amount of water you use, plus the added benefit of exercising your arm muscles and spending extra calories for beneficial use. All the same, when using washing machine, wait until you’ve got a full load before you do your laundry.

8. Reuse water for as long as it can be reused. Laundry water can be used to mop the floor, wash the car, or wash recyclable discards like cans and bottles. If you can still collect this water, you can use it further to water ornamental plants or clean the driveway.

9. Water plants wisely:

a. Water plants just enough to keep them looking healthy. Robust leaves are a sign they don’t need water yet.

b. Some plants love water; some want just enough; some don’t want any for a long time. Better get to know your plants so you can water them wisely.

c. You can also arrange your plants one on top of the other, such that those who love water the most are placed on the top and those who love the least water are placed below. That way, water flowing from watering those above will tend to water the plants below.

d. Compost your biodegradable wastes and use it as planting medium. Compost tends to hold water longer for plant use than plain soil.

e. Use fruits and vegetable trimmings as well as yard wastes, like fallen leaves and twigs, as mulch to keep moist in the soil from evaporating easily. This will reduce the amount of time and water you spend watering your plants.

f. Shade your plants, such as with nets, to avoid much water loss.

g. Prune your plants properly so they can use water more efficiently.

h. It might sound gross, but you can use your urine to water your plants. Urine has nutrients that plants need for good plant health.

10. Eat more fruits and vegetables for your meals. Because they have a good load of water in them, your body’s need for water is reduced.

11. Monitor your water bill. That should keep you on your toes to practice water conservation.

12. Regularly check for possible leaks and immediately remedy them once detected.

13. Tell others to do the same.