Just a brief foray into the WILD WORLD of WATER RECYCLING…
I know, I know. You are all blown away by the ingenuity of this outstanding diagram. Depicted in the above, one can observe our extremely
delicate robust system for recycling rainwater.
What I want you to know first of all is that we had, up until this point, adopted the whole rigmarole of swanning into the Napiershall Street kitchen, attempting to squash the hose through a crack in the window, a two-person procedure what with the steel grating that makes this process nigh-impossible and then filling up a watering can very s l o o o w l y, which seems counter-intuitive since the whole country has been constructed from RAIN to begin with.
Now we have this freecycled waterbutt-with-a-tap, nudged exactly into position to catch droplets from a leaky pipe that leads down from the gutter on the roof. It’s like a marble run for H2O molecules. Next time you go on a water slide, pretend to be a water molecule, and envision yourself landing unexpectedly in a vegetable patch.
In time, we hope to have a series of containers, all linked together by one long gutter so that we may never again waste tap water when the clouds themselves are so readily generous. The subtle hint in all of this is to find a few ways to save some water.
Why is saving water important?
Sometimes, when we talk greenhouse gases, it can initially seem like quite a leap to suddenly start proposing that gardening or recycling or skateboarding is a viable solution, but ALL of it comes back to physics and chemistry – greenhouse gas emissions being the chemistry and the energy used to emit them being the physics. It’s the same with water; the provision and treatment of water is an energy-intensive process. In Scotland, it can feel like we have an abundance of water, particularly because, from a solely financial perspective, our water supplies are great – any water charges are often figured directly into our council tax so many of us don’t have to consider the billing for water as a separate item of paperwork or expenditure. On the other hand, this can have the effect of allowing us to feel entitled to over-use this precious resource and so draining a lot of energy in the process. Water is definitely something we need to factor into our sustainability goals.
For a whole bunch of information, see Waterwise
Also, here is a handy top tips list I nabbed from The Eden Project
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth – this can save 6 litres of water per minute.
- Place a cistern displacement device in your toilet cistern to reduce the volume of water used in each flush. You can get one of these from your water provider.
- Take a shorter shower. Shower can use anything between 6 and 45 litres per minute.
- Always use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher – this cuts out unnecessary washes in between.
- Fix a dripping tap. A dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day, or 5,500 litres of water a year.
- Install a water butt to your drainpipe and use the water collected to water your plants, clean your car and wash your windows.
- Water your garden with a watering can rather than a hosepipe. A hosepipe uses 1,000 litres of water an hour. Mulching your plants (with bark chippings, heavy compost or straw) and watering in the early morning and late afternoon will reduce evaporation and also save water.
- Fill a jug with tap water and place this in your fridge. This will mean you do not have to leave the cold tap running for the water to run cold before you fill your glass.
- Install a water meter. When you’re paying your utility provider for exactly how much water you use, laid out in an itemised bill, there’s an incentive to waste less of the stuff.
- Invest in water-efficient goods when you need to replace household products. You can now buy water-efficient showerheads, taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and many other water-saving products.