Fresh water accounts for less then 3% of all the water on the globe and access to clean, uncontaminated drinking water is unavailable to almost 1/6th of the world’s population. Millions of women are unable to work and millions of children are unable to go to school, because they spend so much time collecting water.
Climate change impacts including changing levels of rainfall, decreasing runoff from glaciers, drought and smaller levels of snow pack are all contributing to making fresh water less available and more of a scarce commodity.
Talk to your kids about what YOU and your family can do to be as efficient as possible with your water use. Remind the kids in your life that things that may be easy for us in most places in North America (turning on the tap and getting fresh, clean water for example) can be so very difficult for families in other places around the world.
Ask your kids to take some time and think about how fortunate they are and what things they wouldn’t be able to do (play lacrosse, soccer, dance, draw, play video games!) if they had to spend hours each day collecting water for their family. For more information on families what you can do to help families in developing countries struggling with water access issues check out our earlier 2014 World Water Day post.
Curb Water Waste
30,000 gallons of water. It’s enough to fill an average swimming pool, and it’s how much water your home could be wasting each year with incorrectly programmed irrigation systems, sprinkler heads pointed in the wrong direction, or leaks in sprinkler system. A leak as small as the tip of a pen can waste 6,300 gallons per month! The EPA’s Watersense Kids has some great conversation starters to share with the kids in your life.
Now that winter is over, The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) water efficiency program, WaterSense, is giving people the tools and information they need to curb water waste. Your home, your children’s school or the building you live or work in, likely has an irrigation system.
Here are some tips from the EPA about what YOU can do to make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible.
Wake Up Sprinklers with a Springtime Spruce-Up
Post Contributed by: EPA WaterSense
With the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures, now is the perfect time to get your irrigation system off the snooze button with a little “sprinkler spruce-up” to ensure it’s operating efficiently. Maybe your system has been inactive for the winter, or it may have been damaged by the harsh weather.
Before you take your sprinkler system out of hibernation, use a little “water sense” and take four simple steps to get it ready for efficient operation—inspect, connect, direct, and select:
Inspect your irrigation systems for clogged, broken, or missing sprinkler heads and replace where necessary.
Connect sprinkler heads tightly to pipes or hoses to prevent water pooling in your landscape and leaks that could drown your favorite plants.
Direct spray away from your driveway and sidewalk to water only your lawn or plants.
Select a watering schedule that meets your yard’s minimum needs, or better yet, select a WaterSense® labeled irrigation controller, which uses local weather data to take the guesswork out of scheduling.
If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, go with a pro—look for an irrigation professional certified through a WaterSense labeled certification program to help maintain your system. And even if you don’t have an automatic irrigation system, you can make your yard more water-smart. On your next trip to the nursery, look for plants that are local to your region or labeled “drought tolerant.”