As of 2014, Malaysians consume an average of 250 liters of water a day. That’s a huge amount of water! In comparison, the average human is recommended only 2.2 liters a day. If that’s the case, why are we overusing water? According to Putrajaya President Aldric Loong Kim Yew, Malaysians actually only use 30% for proper consumption. These are household chores like showering, washing cars, doing the dishes, laundry, cooking and drinking.
The United Nations (UN) in 2010 reported that an individual only needs 165 liters per day. Malaysians are exceeding that amount by almost 100 liters! At the world’s current state, 1.1 billion people don’t have access to clean water. With today’s technology, no one should be lacking such a basic need. Ironically, 71% of the world is water-covered but most of the water in the world is trapped in restricted sources like glaciers, ice peaks, ice bergs and polluted oceans.
According to Malaysia Kini (2011), Malaysia uses more water compared to our Asian counterparts. Our Singaporean neighbors come close with 154 liters a day, while Thailand uses a shockingly low amount of 90 liters a day per person. It’s important to note that water in Malaysia is subsidized by the government. No wonder the usage is so high!
Which is why here are 5 easy ways to reduce water wastage:
Take shorter showers
Everyone loves a long hot shower at the end of a stressful day. Some of us even have bathtubs at home to soak in luxuriously. But do you know for every minute, an average shower head pumps out 9.5 liters. In 10 minutes that’s 95 liters! More energy is wasted if you use hot water, the heater uses up electricity. Now imagine 31.1 million Malaysians totaling a great volume of water wastage. That’s a huge problem. Showering takes up almost 17% of water use in average households. So next time, take shorter showers to save the environment.
Ensure taps are tightly shut
Leaving a tap half closed wastes gallons of water. Every hour that goes by, water trickles away into the sewage. Clean water just dripping constantly, what a shame! To prevent your water bill from running sky high, consider fixing leaky faucets and taps. Alternatively, place a bowl below taps to catch droplets of water. At the end of the day, transfer water into a bucket and you’ll have enough to mop the floor. Need to hand-wash some clothes? Use the clean water collected!
Why let clean water go to waste when you can simply shut the tap tight?
Turn off tap when brushing teeth or washing dishes
In the 5 minutes that water runs while you brush your teeth, liters of water flows rapidly into the drain. It doesn’t make sense to keep water running when you’re not using it. Simply shut the tap and save the environment. The same applies for washing dishes. As you lather and scrub the oil off, use water only when you have to rinse. Everything boils down to being mindful of your actions. What other activities do you unconsciously waste water?
Use rainwater for household chores
Before technology, our ancestors have been using rain water in every day chores. Consider collecting rain water for washing cars and watering plants. The next time it rains, put out a few buckets to catch water. By cultivating that habit, you’ll also be prepared for a water disruption because collecting rain water doesn’t feel like a hassle anymore.
Reuse stale water to water plants
We are all guilty of leaving water for too long in water bottles, kettles and jugs. Before you know it, the water has gone stale. Who wants to drink bacteria-filled water? Instead of pouring it down the sink, use it to water your plants. You avoid over-watering your plants. Blasting a hose simply drowns plants, while water collects at the top. Stagnant water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
By using stale water to water plants, you kill two birds with one stone. You waste less and still tend to the plants. Isn’t that better?