Ever wondered what the effect of taking a daily shower can have on the environment? Here in the Netherlands, we are pretty much guaranteed a continuous water supply, however according to the Groningen Water Services, people and wildlife could be left without sufficient water unless action is taken to reduce water use and wastage. “It will be very tight in the near future. That is now even more visible,” a spokesperson for the company said last August in response to the reports of the country-wide drought.
Fresh water shortage in the Netherlands may seem a difficult concept to grasp. However, it is slowly becoming a reality, especially in the Dutch coastal areas. Climate change and salinization are putting fresh water availability under even more pressure in some parts of the country.
Get out of the shower, Amsterdammers
With our water supplies being tested the last few days due to the heatwave, the CBS statistics bureau conducted a survey of the country’s water consumption. Specifically, who is using the most water, and what should be done to reduce the waste.
According to the CBS, the majority of Dutch people insist on having frequent showers. However it is Amsterdam residents who stand out as the most hygiene-obsessive region in the nation – they shower 0.99 times per person a day, whereas the national average is 0.82 times. In addition, they are less likely to own a water-saving shower head. As a result, they consume significantly more drinking water than the rest of the population.
The Dutch, on average, use 129 liters of water per person per day with the northerners being among the most frugal consumers. In the province of Groningen, for instance, the average daily consumption does not exceed 115 liters. The residents of the capital, however, use about 141 liters a day. Just for one shower, they need over 60 liters while the rest of the country gets by on 46.2 liters per person.
Some of the top tips from water specialists include:
- Having shorter showers (for every minute less you spend in the shower, you could save up to 8 liters of water),
- Installing a water-saving shower head – these clever devices can cut the amount of water used by about 30 per cent,
- Using the small button of your toilet; if you don’t have a dual flush toilet, installing a water displacement device could save up to 3 liters every flush and as much as 5000 liters of water each year.
Despite not sounding like a lot, the little things add up to make a big difference and will not only help us look after the precious droplets, but look after our wallets too.