Rational management of water resources and water savings, as well as the need to cultivate a new water management culture, are vital in order safeguard the needs of modern society and our ecosystems.
Research conducted by prestigious international organisations has ranked Greece high in the list of countries with unwarranted water consumption and unreasonable degradation of ecosystems. The way in which we manage critical sectors such as crops, planning, fisheries, use of fossil fuels is anything but ‘green’, meaning that every year many hectares of ‘living space’ per resident are ‘sacrificed’.
Consumption of massive quantities of water to irrigate water-thirsty crops and the dramatic decline in reserves because of climate change, among other things are major ‘concerns’ for modern societies. However, in order to adopt a comprehensive, uniform policy to manage and protect water resources it’s essential to provide citizens with information and raise their awareness, and also to get them involved in taking decisions and implementing them.
Water savings at home could be as high as 50% if only we adopted some of the practical tips below.
Tips for rational use – saving water at home
- Turn off taps when not in use, as while brushing teeth, shaving, soaping your hands/face or the dishes. By letting the tap run for five minutes, water wastage can reach up to 20 litres. For one million people, that means wasting 20,000 m3 of water a day!
- Flushing the toiler accounts for 1/3 of all water used in the home. Replace old cisterns with new, double flow ones, or fix the floater.
- Showers/bathing use up around 1/5 of all water used at home. Prefer a quick shower with moderate water pressure instead of filling your bathtub.
- Use your washing machine and dishwasher when relatively full and choose eco programs.
- Don’t neglect any leaks in the house’s plumbing. Immediately repair leaky taps, cisterns or plumbing.
- Make sure everyone in the family knows where the main water supply stopcock is in the event of leaks or flooding.
Use the suggestions below to change your everyday kitchen habits.
- Reduce the household utensils that require washing (use one glass for drinking water per day and appropriately sized cooking utensils).
- Keep cold water in bottles in the fridge instead of letting the tap run.
- Recycle suitable water from household uses, such from washing fruit and vegetables, for watering your plants.
- Do not use running water to defrost food; defrost gradually by moving to the fridge and then to room temperature.
Tips for rational use – saving water outdoors
- Wash your car with a bucket rather than with a hosepipe, as this reduces water wastage.
- Clean the open spaces of our house like balconies & terraces by sweeping/mopping and not with a hosepipe.
- Avoid washing your balconies, the pavement and your car during a drought or when there are water supply problems.
- Do not overwater your garden. Water early in the morning or in the evening, as this reduces evaporation losses. Set the automatic watering system so that all water can be used.
- Choose plants suitable for the climatic conditions of your area. Avoid planting grass as it requires excessive watering.
Tips for avoiding problems due to frost.
- Check private water networks for leaks and damage or lack of insulation. Thoroughly check water meters (counters), outdoor taps (on balconies), solar water heaters, outdoor gas burners and outdoor piping.
- Have qualified craftsmen restore or install insulations at vulnerable points of the external network.
- Make sure that the internal water supply switches (valves) function properly.
- Keep leaves and debris out of gutters on balconies and terraces.
- If the house is to stay shut during the winter, isolate or empty the solar water heater network and the central water supply of your home. Make sure the installer/maintainer has put antifreeze in the solar water heater.