Editorial- To Waste up to Ten Liters of Potable Water in the Toilet during a Drought

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español

The lack of water in Costa Rica and the world has become permanent. The years during which schoolteachers taught their students that water was an “inexhaustible” resource has been left in the past. Today, freshwater resources are scarcer every year, especially in Guanacaste. However, we keep wasting an excessive amount of potable water without looking for alternative measures.

Have you wondered how much water you use every time you go to the bathroom?Well, the average is between eleven and 13 liters for every time you flush, although those who have a modern toilet could reduce that to six liters. Flushing is one of many ways in which we waste potable water every day, in an unnecessary and even ridiculous way.

The government, local administrations and ourselves as citizens should begin to look for solutions to lower our impact.

According to the United Nations, of the total amount of water consumed in the world, 10% is used in households, while industry takes 25% and livestock and agriculture use 65%. But although the waste that comes from our portion is low, today we know and feel it in our daily lives that every drop of water counts.

It is the moment to install treatment plants and for that reason we support theUNA and Nicoya Ministry of Health initiative to promote the construction of wetland wastewater treatment system. These systems can filter greywater from homes and make it available for other purposes. The change could save 30% of water used every month.

The requirements are few: homes have separate the town water supply lines to be able to differentiate between the potable and the treated water. Residents of the homes have to use the water to irrigate plants, clean floors, wash gutters or cars or endless other uses.

If you cannot afford awetland, you can make small changes that cost nothing, such as using a watering can instead of leaving the hose running for hours. Repair all possible leaks that your house may have. Something as insignificant as a tap in the kitchen that drips every second can waste up to 50 liters of water per week.

In life, attitude and willpower are free, but in the end, waste is pretty expensive.