Today is World Water day!
We thought we'd update our blog post from last year to the most up to date numbers on water. This topic is becoming more and more important and is a big part of our mission.
At The Misprint Co, we feel very passionately about saving and reducing water consumption wherever we can. We reached a big milestone of saving 5.2 million litres of water by repurposing paper before recycling it.
So, why do we care so much about saving water?
Water is such a precious resource that if we don’t start doing our bit to conserve it and create sustainable processes and infrastructure to try to reduce and reuse our water, it will inevitably have impact on us and our environment. For example, the World Economic Forum reported that we are likely to exceed our supply of water by 40% by 2030.
Furthermore, the UN have reported that more than 80% of wastewater resulting from our human activities goes straight into our seas and rivers, with no way to control or remove the pollution that it brings to these waters. Furthermore they predict, ‘by 2050 one in four people are likely to live in a country facing either chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.’
On a smaller scale, we are seeing issues of over consumption even in our capital city. For example, Stuff NZ reported 160m litres of water usage to be considered a sustainable rate in summer, in the region. However, November 29 we exceeded this rate by reaching 180 million litres of water usage. in saying so our consumption through December was reported fairly low due to people leaving the city over the summer.
The Wellington City Council estimates about 7 million m³ of water is used for commercial reasons. The rest of our water consumption comes from domestic use, pipe leaks (including private properties); hydrant flushing; fire-fighting; watering of Council owned parks and gardens; street cleaning; reservoir overflows and water theft. It is estimated that the average person in Wellington uses about 350 litres per day of water. You can find out more about the daily consumption of water in Wellington here.
Wastewater is a big issue and there is a need for innovation and use of clean technologies for resource efficiency in the water sector. There is a big movement towards the circular economy of water and wastewater is the largest underutilised resource, so we should start here. Currently, we are using water in a linear process meaning the wastewater we create by showering, doing laundry and washing dishes is treated, processed and sent back into the sea or land. There is huge potential for this wastewater to be reused after or before being treated, as a result of this it would put less strain on our natural resources.
You can find more info about wastewater and the specific breakdown of various types of waste water from the Ministry of Environment.
Did you know something as small as a dripping pipe can waste up to 90 litres of water a day?
Stuff NZ reports that ‘we are losing more than 101 billion litres every year thorough leaks and wastage’. This loss makes up approximately 18% of our total national supply of 572 billion litres. The main causes of this waste include:
- Ageing and eroding supply systems
- Household leaks
- Pipes damaged through underground work
- Natural disasters (earthquake and landslides)
The Wellington City Council provide the following tips so that you can save water in your household!
- Turn your taps off properly and repair dripping taps, leaking pipes or toilet cisterns.
- Turn taps off while you shave, and brush your teeth.
- Use your dishwasher and washing machine only when full.
- Store drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap cold.
- Put a brick or a full bottle of water in your toilet cistern, if you don't have a dual flush toilet, so the cistern uses less water.
- Limit the time you spend in the shower.
- Use a bucket to collect waste (grey) water from the shower, the washing machine or the sink to water plants or use on the lawn.
- Use a bucket to wash your car, rather than a hose.
- Use a broom, not a hose, to seep the path
We’re doing our bit at The Misprint Co, by saving water from the paper production process. We do this by repurposing waste paper before recycling. In doing so, we are saving 10 litres of water per A4 sheet repurposed. Even something as simple as this can make a huge difference as we have seen by the amount of water and paper we have saved and repurposed during our time in business.