Periods of drought in Jamaica often result in severe water shortages due to inadequate rainfall. You can minimize the effect of drought if special attention is focused on water conservation.
While the amount of water used varies depending on personal habits, a typical single-family home in Jamaica uses between 3,000 and 5,000 gallons of treated water per month.
Studies done around the world show that approximately 10% of the water used in homes is wasted because of leaks. These studies also show that water consumption within an average household can be reduced by about 30% by using proper water saving devices and good conservation practices.
Make a difference by being conscious of the amount of water you use and look for ways to use less whenever you can.
According to the National Water Commission (NWC), there are four basic ways to save water:
- Economize – Be conscious of the amount of water you utilize and use less whenever you can.
- Fix Leaks – A leak of merely 1 drop per second, wastes 2,400 gallons per year! Most leaks are easy to repair with some basic know-how and a few simple tools.
- Water-saving Devices – There are a number of simple devices that can significantly reduce water usage. These include aerators, flow regulators and displacement devices.
- Re-use Water – Used water, such as at the kitchen sink and at the washstand, is often suitable for other purposes. If this “grey water” is used more than once it saves water for other uses.
Visit their website for more information on how you can conserve water.
Here’s a longer list of water conservation tips from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM):
- To start you can look around for leaks and repair them immediately. Most leaks are easy to detect and easy to repair.
- Use just a glassful of water to brush your teeth.
- A typical shower uses five to 10 gallons of water per minute. Limit your shower to the time it takes to wet your body and to wash off the lather. Install shower heads or flow restrictors. They will cut the flow of water to about three gallons per minute. That is saving a lot of water and money too!
- Make sure that the toilet you have is using the least amount of water possible per flush. Do not use the toilet as a trash can for paper and facial tissues.
- If you wash dishes by hand do not leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks fill one with soapy water and the other with water for rinsing.
- Do not let the pipe run while washing dishes or vegetables. Just rinse them in a sink or a pan of clean water.
- Using a hose to wash cars, driveways and sidewalks could waste gallons of water. It is best to do this from a pan or basin, if absolutely necessary. Remember that during periods of drought and water restrictions, washing of cars and watering of lawns should not take place. When you wash you car with a bucket of water and a rag it not only saves you money, but it ensures that there will be more water when you need it most.
- You may also save the rinse water from your dishes and laundry for the watering of your lawn and plants.
- Do not allow your children to play with pipes, hoses and sprinklers. This activity could waste hundreds of gallons of precious water.
Fresh clean drinking water is yours to use but not to waste. It is too valuable. Remember that a little effort and a little common sense will make a big difference.
Following these simple tips can save you thousands of litres every year.