World Water Day: How we are trying to save bucket loads

Karen Liebenguth

23 March 2011

The Green Team here at Friends of the Earth decided to turn World Water Day (22 March) into a Water Week of Action.

We put up a poster in our reception area asking colleagues to pledge to reduce the amount of water they use during the week.

We'd been really surprised by some of the stats. For example, it seems crazy that we can use up to 6 litres of water when we wash a mug - just by leaving the tap running.

As well as the pledge sheet we posted some interesting facts and figures around the place, such as:

  • On average each of us at Friends of the Earth uses 15-18 litres of water each working day for drinking, washing up, flushing the toilet etc.
  • In the developing world the average person uses just 10 litres a day in their homes for drinking, washing, cooking etc.
  • The UK has less water available per person than most other European countries.
  • London is drier than Istanbul, and the South East of England has less water available per person than Sudan and Syria.
  • The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly 20 kg - the equivalent of 20 one-litre bottles of water.

At Friends of the Earth each month we take water, electricity and gas readings. They've shown that we’re already saving water. Knowing how much we use allows us to set targets and to inspire people to reduce their consumption.

We've discovered that EnvirowiseWateraid and Thames Water provide really interesting tips, facts and figures about water. They also take part in World Water Day, which grew out of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.

So this week I’m being careful to use only the water I need to wash my mug and fill the kettle. It saves water and energy.

Read books about how you can save water.

Karen Liebenguth, Internal Communications