I hope everyone has had a lovely Easter! Since I have four-five assessments due next week, I thought now would be a good opportunity to use something I wrote over a year ago (17th February 2006) on my other blog. I've always been passionate about environmental issues and although I may not be a "tree-hugging hippie", I believe that we all have the potential to make our world a better place to live in, ecologicially.
I'm sure most of you probably know about the effects of Global Warming on drought around the world and hopefully this can serve as a bit of an eye-opener for you all on what's happening in Australia, or at least in Queensland. Just so you have an idea at our current state of drought, Level 5 water restrictions are about to come into effect tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wivenhoe Dam - the catchment that supplies Brisbane with water - is at 18.10% capacity! (and that's down 0.044% from yesterday). I recommend you watch Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth for more information on climate change and some good before and after shots of the impact on the environment.
Some of you may have noticed that the local paper (well, for those of you who are in my local area) that there is finally a "water doomsday" in Brisbane: on the 8th February 2008 there won't be water running through the taps in our city, unless the dam catchments are sufficiently filled.
Now that we're on the brink of Level 3 Water Restrictions, we need to start being even more water-wise than ever. The water supply as of today (17th February 2006) is 32.79% and the further restrictions will be implemented once it's down to 30%. I think some people just aren't getting the message, or not realising the significance of water conservation in these times. Just yesterday I saw a woman hosing leaves off her driveway... she could have easily used a broom but either lack of initiative or just sheer laziness caused her to do otherwise.
A few of my water-saving tips:
Turn off the shower to use shampoo and conditioner when washing your hair (been in practice from a very young age)
Turn off the shower to use the soap or alternative cleaning product (mum taught us to make us do this after we put conditioner in our hair as it's meant to set for a few minutes before rinsing).
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth (I think everyone knows this - or should!).
When washing dishes, avoid opening the tap fully - it wastes far too much water! Instead keep it on a medium to low stream (depending on what it is you are washing). Or even better (for when you have several dishes and cutlery), when washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing; fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
Soak your pots, pans and other kitchen utensils instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
There's also heaps of other things you can do including installing a dual-flush system for your toilets, installing a water-saving shower head, not running the dishwasher (if you really need to use one) unless it's full. You can find out more here.
A few reasons why you should save water:
Spend two minutes less in the shower (not just one-off, you need to be consistent! ) and you'll save 425 litres a month.
Turning off the water while you shampoo and condition your hair and you can save more than 180 litres a week (if you have hair like mine, it will save you even more!).
Turning off the water while you brush your teeth will save an average of 94 litres a week for a family of 4.
For those with a swimming pool, cover it to keep it clean and you can reduce evaporation losses by up to 90 per cent.
Not only will you be making a difference to our water reserves, it will save you some money!
Please consider all the little things you can do to make a difference today. Tomorrow depends on it.
(That's the Water Forever slogan!)
Southern Star, Wednesday February 15 2006
For More Information:
Visit Water Forever - there are statistics, water restriction details and a full list of water-saving tips.
Brisbane City Council Drought Information
South East Queensland Water