Welcome to the blog of the Broad Curriculum course Living Sustainably: A complete guide to surviving a changing planet. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ireland and Water Scarcity

As we pass from spring toward the summer months, it becomes more important that we are aware of our day to day water usage. Water scarcity is quickly becoming a reality for many people, the world over with the current forecast being bleak – it is predicted that in twenty years, global water demand will exceed 40% of its value today. Two major factors affecting the water demand are the increasing global population and the impacts of climate change. Despite this being a global issue, solutions can be found at the individual level. Becoming more aware of our water usage and its impact on the planet can serve to alleviate this issue before it reaches a critical level.
In a survey conducted by Ideal Standard, a bathroom furnishings company, the average Irish person was found to directly use about 150L of water per day through toilet flushing, hygiene and other such activities. This is considered to be greatly in excess to what is actually necessary to carry out such activities. Consider this in addition to the fact that water used for boiling, washing and drinking is all the same in Ireland and that ‘cleaner’ water is consistently being used for tasks that do not require such treatment of water.
Common ways to save water in the home are to:
·         Take shorter showers
·         Fix dripping/leaking taps and pipes
·         Don’t over-water plants and gardens
·         Don’t flush napkins or cigarette butts
·         Don’t let the taps run while washing dishes/vegetables/brushing teeth.
There are hundreds more ways to reduce your direct water usage and by everyone making small changes to everyday tasks, we can help reduce the effects of water scarcity.
James Condren

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