It's Science Week!
And all this week we're teaming up with Irish Water to provide households and businesses with tips to help conserve water.
As Ireland's national water utility, Irish Water is responsible for providing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland.
Across the week, Damien Tiernan on Déise Today will chat with experts working in Irish Water and Central Solutions about how businesses can reduce water usage and save costs. He will also visit some Waterford businesses to see how they consume water and provide them with advice on how they can conserve water.
If you're a business looking to save water and costs, check out The Water Stewardship programme which will help you get a better understanding of how to protect our most precious resource.
If you're a consumer, read on for some practical tips on how you can conserve water and cut costs.
Keep an eye on the WLR Facebook page for more.
How do we each use 133 litres of water every day?
Toilet flushing, showering and bathing, teeth brushing, dishwashing, and garden watering. These are the everyday things we use water for, yet rarely think about. But our water resources are struggling to meet demand. That's why we are asking everyone to try and use only what they need.
Water goes through a remarkable journey from cloud to glass. Drinking, cooking, washing, bathing - we use water in so many ways. The water we use starts as raw water in rivers and lakes. It undergoes a complex treatment process, with seven stages that take up to three days, so we can enjoy clean, safe drinking water every day. Each day 1.7 billion litres of water travels through a network that includes 63,000km of pipes to supply the nation with treated drinking water.
How we can all conserve water?
By working together to use only what we need in our homes and businesses, we can all contribute to ensuring a sustainable water supply for everyone.
How to conserve water at home
Take a shorter shower - Tip: A shorter shower can save up to 10 litres of water a minute. Take a shower instead of a bath to reduce water usage.
Drop the hose - Tip: Use a rosehead watering can in the garden instead of a hose or sprinkler and aim for the roots.
Use a bucket and sponge - Tip: If you need to wash your car, use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose.
Use it twice - Tip: Use a basin in your sink when rinsing food and use it for watering plants.
If it's yellow, let it mellow - Tip: Consider only flushing the toilet when you really need to.
Fix dripping taps - Tip: Avoid using excess water at home by mending taps and running toilets.
Turn off the tap - Tip: Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving.
Load 'em up - Tip: Run your washing machine and dishwasher with full loads.
Butt seriously! - Tip: Install a water butt to harvest rainwater from your gutters. Use it to water your garden or wash your yard.
Garden clever -Tip: Water your plants in the early morning or late evening. This saves water from evaporating and avoids your plants being scorched.
Avoid watering the lawn - Tip: Even if your lawn goes yellow in dry weather, it will recover quickly.
Business conservation tips
Check out the Irish Water tips on how businesses can help conserve water
Conduct a water audit
The first thing we suggest is that you carry out a water audit on your business. This will show where the major water use is coming from and where you can make savings. You can do the audit yourself or use an external specialist. Below are some simple things you can do to start an audit.
Examine your bills to understand water use patterns and charges
Read your meter but remember to do so safely
Check for leaks using your water meter
Reduce your use
Use water-efficient equipment - Consider upgrading to more water-efficient appliances and devices. Taps, showerheads, toilets and dishwashers can all make a big difference.
Go waterless - Waterless processes can dramatically reduce your use. This can include air vacuums, high-pressure air jets, and dry sweeping.
Simple changes - There are cheaper options too. Retrofit a dual flush system into older toilets, invest in toilet cistern bags or use shower timers.
Low-maintenance plants - Choose plants that need less water (cacti, peace lilies, aloe vera and jade plants). Water outdoor plants in the morning before the sun gets too hot.
Harvest rainwater - A harvesting system allows you to collect rainwater. You can then install systems to use rainwater in your toilets, dishwashers, and showers. A simple water butt can collect rainwater to water plants, or wash windows and cars.
Grey water system - Used water is known as grey water. It's made up of wastewater from sinks, shower drains or washing machines. Grey water systems collect and reuse this wastewater.
You can then use it to flush toilets, water plants, and wash external areas of the building.
Encourage colleagues - Make colleagues aware of the scarcity of water and the benefits of conservation. Put up signs in staff kitchens or toilets that remind people to turn off taps or use low flush options.
Be mindful - Think about how often you wash building exteriors, clean windows or wash vehicles. Try to limit the use of power washers as they use large amounts of water.
Appoint water stewards - Maintenance staff, cleaners, utility managers and FM contractors may have experience in conservation. Ask them for advice or ask if they would like to become water stewards.
Become a water steward - Our Water Stewardship Programme helps businesses lower their water use and operating costs while protecting the environment. Click here for more details.
About Irish Water
As Ireland's national water utility, Irish Water is responsible for providing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland. From coast to coast, their job is to ensure they deliver the highest quality drinking water to your taps every day and ensure that wastewater is properly treated and safely returned to the environment. They treat around 1.7 billion litres of water and 1.3 billion litres of wastewater every day! However, they need our help in conserving water. We all need to play our part in helping protect our most precious resource – water!
About Central Solutions
Central Solutions are leaders in the design and delivery of large-scale, innovative and action-oriented programmes that help organisations develop the skills and capabilities to transition to a more sustainable future. We work with both national and international stakeholders, industry groups and enterprise agencies to create meaningful and verifiable impact through our flagship programmes Climate Ready Academy, HSE Lean Academy, Lean & Green Skillnet, Water Stewardship Ireland, and many others. With almost two decades of experience, we have established ourselves as leaders in this area and have received national and international recognition for our work.
LISTEN: Charlie Coakley of Irish Water
WATCH: Steve Brown of Central Solutions chats to Michael Skehan of The Granville Hotel
WATCH: Steve Brown of Central Solutions chats to Charlie of Lion Barber Tramore
Listen in to Déise Today weekdays from 10am for more