In the Czech Republic, an average adult consumes up to 150 litres of drinking water per day. In poor parts of the World, people are having to survive on only 8 to 10 litres per day
A daily consumption of drinking water per average adult in the Czech Republic is about 120 to 150 litres. Accordingly, a family household of four consumes between 480 to 600 litres of water per day. Based on the CZ average water charges of 80 CZK per cubic meter, the water expenditure of an average family household is between 38 to 48 CZK per day, totalling to 14 - 17,5 thousand Czech crowns per year. Although the statistics show that the water consumption in the Czech Republic reached its peak in 1965, when every adult used up to 300 litres of water in a day, since then the situation has much improved mainly due to the constant rise of water charges.
Over 15% of Earth population have no access to clean drinking water
Water is an essential living resource. Every living thing needs water to survive. As the human population increases, water use increases; yet water is a limited resource. Therefore, saving water purely for economical reasons should not be our one and only interest. Efficient use of water is also an ecological and ethical issue, with up to 15% of the world's population not having a sufficient access to clean drinking water. By the way, the sufficient access to clean drinking water is defined as the availability of at least 20 litres of water per person per day, with the source location up to 1 km away from the residence place. Completely different from what we are used to, don't you think?
Reducing your daily usage of drinking water is so simple
Of course, reducing your water consumption to a zero level is completely unrealistic. However, let’s take a look at the main water-wasting factors. Most water is consumed on our personal hygiene, flashing toilets, laundry, housekeeping, washing up and food preparation. We must ensure water is used as efficiently as possible. Nevertheless, in most cases, a high water consumption can also be caused by other circumstances within our control, for instance, water leaks, irregular maintenance, our own comfort and bad routine habits.
- Personal hygiene – baths or showers?
Showering, without a doubt, is much more economical than bathing. During a shower lasting two minutes, which is sufficient for keeping up our daily hygiene, the water usage is by one third lower in comparison to bathing. Therefore, extending your shower period even to four minutes is still far more economical than taking a bath. The market also offers special shower heads with a rainfall effect which can save another 10% of water. In addition, when purchasing a new bath, it is worth considering a medium-sized bath over a large one. The capacity of the large tub is up to 300 litres, whilst the medium one fills up 100 litres less water. And that must be noticeable on your water bill.
- Teeth brushing
Is your tap continuously running whilst brushing your teeth? Unfortunately, most of us carry this bad habit, some leave the water on throughout the entire teeth brushing, the more thorough brushers for even longer. It is completely wasteful and unnecessary, as we are wasting about 20 litres of water per each clean.
- Water-saving taps
A flow rate of standard taps is 15 litres of water per minute. Therefore it is much more economical to install monobloc lever mixers which reduce the flow rate by a half. The tap inserts aerate the flow of water so you can use less water without having to wash your hands under a trickle. Another of water-saving gadgets are thermostatic taps which can save several dozens of litres a day. You can pre-set a water temperature to the ideal shower / bath temperature of 38 degrees without turning the tap on. Regulating the water temperature whilst the tap is running, wastes between 10 to 20 litres of water each time.
- Flushing toilets
One of the easiest ways to save water in your home or workplace is to install a toilet with a dual-flush cistern which allows you to choose how much water to use when flushing the toilet. By using a lower volume of water to flush the toilet can significantly reduce your annual water bill and contribute towards the protection of this valuable natural resource. By the way, why not sometimes flushing the toilet with water used for cleaning your home?
- Urinals – yes or no?
Approximately 30 to 40 percent of total water consumption is utilised for toilet flushing. The urinal consumes a maximum of 2 litres of water per flush, so it is 100% worth the money in households where male presence predominates over female.
- Dripping taps and leaking toilets
Drips and leaks can truly mess up your water bills. Accordingly to the Prague Water and Sewer Utilities (Pražské vodovody a kanalizace), a lightly dripping tap can waste up to 24 litres of water per day. That is 8,8 cubic metres of wasted water per year resulting in an annual financial lose of 730 CZK (based on water charges applicable in Prague). A heavily dripping tap increases your water wastage even by 54 litres per day, which is 19,7 cubic metres per year resulting in an extra and unnecessary cost of 1 682 CZK on top of your annual water bill. Even more water and money – precisely 1 to 2 thousands litres per day - can be wasted by a leaking toilet where the flushing systems is continuously pumping water. If you allow your toilet to leak throughout the entire year, you will lose 365 to 730 cubic metres per year, costing you extra annual charges of 31 178 to 62 356 CZK (based on water charges in Prague). By lacking maintenance, you are literally flushing your money down the drain.
Old-type washing machines consumes up to 100 litres per wash regardless the drum is full or you are only laundering three shirts. On the contrary, the new washing machines are much more economical and use just 40 litres of water per wash. Most of the new washing machines are now fully automated and equipped to weight the laundry before each wash so that the water consumption is always adjusted to the required level, whether you are washing a full load or just the three shirts.
- Washing up
Whilst some still refuse the comfort of dishwashers mainly due to water wastages, they are in fact completely mistaken, as the reality proves the opposite. For washing up 12 sets of dishes by hand, which equals to a full dishwasher, we consume 80 litres of water, contrariwise the dishwashers only use 10 to 15 litres of water per cycle. Furthermore, the dishwasher washes up the dishes at high temperatures which is far more hygienic. But be aware, unlike the new washing machines, the dishwasher’s water consumption does not vary, it will always consume the same level of water whether it is full of half empty.
- Cooking and drinking
Drinking tap water these days is very good and high in quality. If you find the smell of chlorine unpleasant, you can simply let the water stand before use. It is completely unnecessary to carry home litres of bottled water. Furthermore, you will be contributing towards our environment by reducing the level of your plastic waste. Moreover, the price of drinking tap water has absolutely no competition, it only costs you as little as 0,08 CZK per litre. If you are using water from your own source, i.e. from your well, it is recommended to have the water quality professionally and regularly analysed.
There are further tips for reducing your water consumption during cooking. For instance, wash your fruit and vegetable in the sink rather than under a running tap. Defrost your frozen food in the fridge overnight rather than defrosting it the next day in warm water. Another classic example is wasting water from kettles. How many of you empty the left-over water from the kettle before filling it up with fresh water before each boil? But there is absolutely nothing wrong with water which has already been boiled and can be recycled for either cooking or cleaning.
- Use of rainwater and greywater
If you have a garden, using rainwater should be a must. Because plants thrive on natural rain water - without chlorine, ammonia, fluoride, or other chemicals from municipal water systems, rainwater collected and stored in rain barrels is ideal for watering lawns and gardens. The Government offers subsidies for installations of the rain barrels, as well as systems for re-using greywater generated from your household, for instance flushing your toilet with used shower-water. The subsidy is available mainly for house owners or landlords of residential buildings.
Changing your bad routine habits will not only save your wallet but also our Globe
Although according to the worldwide statistics, the Czech Republic ranks amongst the countries with a lower-rated water consumption, it does not mean that we ought to be flushing our money down the drain. Changing your daily habits can save you thousands of crowns per year. Most importantly, being mindful towards your daily water use will not only help saving your finance, but also our planet and preserving this vulnerable resource for our next generations.
Is water worth more than gold?
Unfortunately, this could soon be a reality. According to hydrologists, in 2075 most districts in the Czech Republic could become riverless and water will become a very precious natural resource.