Welcome to the blog of the course and textbook Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Water, water, everywhere...?

In parts of Ireland it only rains 150 days a year, much less than we may initially think. Our annual water consumption (per capita) in Ireland is roughly 55,000 litres. Numerous daily activities that we all take part in consume water. This is ever so true at home; from the moment we wake to moment we go to bed. We all wash our hands, cook, shower, drink tea and coffee, brush our teeth, bathe, water the garden, wash our clothes, flush the toilet, wash the car and clean the dog. But are the options we take even necessary?
Research by Ideal Standard reveals that the average Irish person uses roughly 150 litres of water per day. But 52% of us use over 108 litres per day simply showering. And 40% of us flush the toilet 5-6times per day, using around 40 litres.  Our day-to-date habits create a huge water footprint.
We must change our living habits so as to adapt to a changing world. Climate change has, in recent years, led to shortages of water in Ireland; snow fall tied up water in the winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11, and summers over the last few years (except 2011) have recorded temperatures “above normal” according to Met √Čireann. These trends highlight the significance of using our water wisely and conserving it whenever necessary.
As a people we must make changes, to our lifestyles and habits. Choosing an 8 minute shower over a bath can cut the water used by 50% to 40 litres. Installing modern, dual flush toilets to replace traditional styles can reduce consumption by 80%. On an extreme level; become a herbivore! According to the British Meat blog it can take up to 15 times more water to produce one 1g of animal protein over 1g of plant protein. But there are also small things that can be done too; stop the tap while brushing your teeth, only use full washes when using the washing machine or dishwasher (no half washes), ensure the tap is fully turned off when you’re finished with it, and if it really is necessary to water those petunias, then use a watering can so that you water only what you need to.
Our futures are in our hands, and it is up to us to make the right choices. See links below:
Daniel Moody

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