Use water sparingly

saving water
Every drop counts. Photo credit: Pixabay

In the Netherlands, the last significant amount of rain fell in early March. That left us to enjoy impressive spring this year.

It’s also the driest spring, at least since 1976. Rapid depletion of groundwater is being reported. Everyone, including farmers and industries, is being urged to use water wisely.

With very little rain and warm temperatures, this spring’s been declared the warmest ever recorded. That said, much of the province of Brabant’s already bone-dry. The region has also already had two dry years.

The 13 major regional organisations have a clear, joint message, “From now on, use less water and store rainwater for as long as possible. Our (ground) water needs it. The current drought means we can’t delay.”

Predicted rain sorely needed 

Warmer temperatures mean quicker evaporation and stream water has either dried up or is extremely low. The groundwater level’s acutely low in most places too. Natural areas, parks and public greenery are drying up. All the while, gardens are being sprayed, swimming pools are being filled, and crops are being irrigated. 

People are, therefore, urged to save water. You can:

  • Collect rainwater in buckets.
  • Make your garden, driveway, and roof greener. Check if the municipality provides subsidies for this effort.
  • If you live near a (dry) ditch, use a sandbag or large plank to temporarily dam it. The rainwater will then remain in the ditch longer. It’ll not flow away immediately. If a very wet period arrives, the ditch might flood. Remove the sandbag or plank.

Brabant Water

Brabant Water has the following tips:

  • Take shorter showers. Did you know it uses eight litres of water for every minute you shower? So, take shorter showers or turn the water off while you’re soaping up. You can order a free ‘shower coach’. It’ll help you check your shower times.
  • Use the water-saving toilet knob. This will save at least three litres of water per visit. Imagine how much the saves per year.
  • Use leftover cooking water for your plants. Don’t throw pasta water and vegetable rinsing water down the drain. You could save between two and six litres per week. There’s often water left in the kettle after you’ve made your tea too. Use that to water your houseplants.
watering garden
Be water-wise with your garden. Photo credit: Jill Wellington, Pixabay
  • Water your garden well once a week instead of every day. That not only saves water but strengthens your plants, allowing them to retain water better. And water your garden with a watering can, instead of a hose. You can keep better track of how much water you use. Also, get a regenton – rainwater collection tank. You can save a lot of water using this water instead of tap water for use in your garden.
  •  Fix your leaking taps as soon as possible. A tap that leaks for a year can waste up to 2,000 litres of water.
  • A single wash cycle uses about 53 litres of water. So, only wash full loads of laundry. Even better, use the eco-setting, if you have one.
  • Want to save at least three litres of water a day? Close the tap while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving.

The province’s drinking water comes from deep groundwater. So, one litre less from the tap equals a litre of groundwater saved. Companies can also save water. Businesses should take a critical look at whether they can do this smarter.

If you see opportunities or solutions to better retain water in your area, please contact the water board.

Source: OmroepBrabant and Brabant Water

Translator: Seetha

Editor: Melinda Walraven

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