Thank you again to Eco Action Games for our 4th day of COPmas….
Day 4: Fresh water
In certain parts of the world fresh water seems an abundant, infinite resource, literally ‘on tap’. In other areas water scarcity is the number one challenge facing the local human, and animal, populations. Water, more than any other basic essential resource, is the commodity that is most unevenly distributed across the globe. There are also some very sobering facts about fresh water: only 3% of the world’s entire water resource is actually fresh water, less than 1% of all water resources are safe to consume and more than 1 billion people do not have access to safe water supplies.
And our use of water is increasing, in the western world in particular, having clean water ‘on tap’ has led to ever more profligate use, with the average UK citizen, for eg, using around 150 litres per day, in fact in the UK water consumption has rise by around 1% every year since 1930. But how does this relate to COP21, and greenhouse gas emissions, you may ask? Creating clean, high quality, potable water for human consumption requires energy, that energy mostly comes from fossil fuels, and water treatment actually contributes about 1% of greenhouse gas emissions, this rises to ~3% if we also factor in the energy to heat that water. So using it wisely, and not polluting water courses, can have a hugely positive impact on climate change.
What eco actions can we take?
So how can we all, in our roles, as citizens, community members, employees and business owners, make a difference to the quantity and quality of our local, and global, freshwater resources?
Citizens: it is very easy to be more ‘water wise’ in our daily lives. Swap deep baths for short 4 minute showers – just like our four COPmas elves (but do remember to take your hat off first!); don’t tip oils and fats down drains and sinks; don’t flush away nappies, wet wipes or other non-biodegradable items – bin them instead; don’t use sprinklers; only run full loads of washing/dishes; install water butts in your garden & plant drought resistant plants and don’t forget to turn the tap off when brushing your teeth.
Civil Society: community groups can contribute to water quality improvements through organising clean-ups of the local waterways; groups can get together to conduct citizen science projects, such as Earthwatch’s FreshWater Watch programme where the quality of local water courses is regularly tested and the results uploaded to centralised databanks to help scientists make sense of what is happening to our waterways.
Corporates: businesses can get involved in a range of activities, conducting water audits of their own water use in their operations for example. Regardless if they are office based service industries, or are manufacturing products, there are typically easy savings to be made. Companies can also sign up to Earthwatch’s volunteering schemes and allow staff to become part of a global citizen science project that is mapping the water ways across the globe.
And we have an extra COPmas advent calendar BONUS for you all today. Think you know about water savings? Well, you can test your knowledge of how much water various actions can save by playing our fun, yet challenging online game: eco action water Higher? Lower? You can access it by clicking on the computer:
Thank you to Eco Action Games for sharing this wonderful campaign with us.
Find out more here http://ecoactiongames.org.uk/3rd-day-of-COPmas/
Follow the campaign with #12COP21 @6_heads @ecoactiongames