How can we keep water sustainable while travelling?
Happy World Tourism Day 2013 everyone!
This year’s theme for the UN’s World Tourism Day is “Tourism & Water”, and it focuses on raising awareness for “protecting our common future”.
So I thought it might be appropriate to ask how we can do our bit?
We see signs in hotel bathrooms around the world asking us to only wash our towels if really necessary, and to use water sparingly. But what else can we do to help keep the water resources around the world sustainable?
This hits home today because currently in Dakar, we’re under a water shortage because of a broken pipeline feeding into the city causing many people to have dry resevoirs since Sunday. The situation is so severe, there have been several protests and some civil unrest (nothing violent, of course).
Many of the expats in the city, including myself, are discovering all sorts of water conservation techniques mostly including limiting laundry, limiting shower times, limiting toilet flushes, etc.
Generally I try to stick to the “when in rome” view of travel and try to live as the locals do as much as possible. So I try to ignore my American urge to shower for 30 minutes everyday and only wearing clothes once before washing, etc. It’s not that hard, you just have to be mindful of the situation where you are.
I don’t want to get too political in a fun travel forum but I think a large part of the problem isn’t a lack of people doing their bit or ‘acting locally’ and all that, it is a failure of the governments and systems we have in place.
Take the UK for example, supposedly one of the richer and more developed nations on the planet, yet we run our water utilities as a business, with companies creaming vast profits of water bills yet doing very little to improve water usage, conservation or infrastructure. Leaky, aging pipes, a lack of a decent North – South pipeline to disperse water throughout the country, wastage through leakages on a vast, vast scale with little being done about it, etc etc etc.This is why we have floods followed by hosepipe bans and droughts, then more floods followed by even more hosepipe bans and droughts. Not that it matters as long as water companies keep making profits, eh?
If we can’t manage it, what hope do developing nations have?
Until that situation gets sorted out, frankly there is little point in ‘doing our bit’.
Just walked past the Savoy hotel who had a rogue hose on full flailing about in their basement… Apparently they’re not doing their ‘bit’ either :/
I get water for about 15 minutes a day where I live in India. Helps those with no experience learn about conservation.
Preserving water is really important. What I do on preserving/recycling water:
1. When I do the laundry, water that came from rinsing clothes from the washing machine are being recycled and being used to clean our garage, front porch and back yard flooring.
2. Instead of using the shower, we use a pail to stock water in and when we need to take a bath, we use a container to scoop water from the pail to wash ourselves.
3. When washing our hands, we close the tap when on process on scrubbing our hands with soap and just turn the tap on to rinse.
4. When tap (or piping) has a drip, we instantly make sure that this will be fixed ASAP so that water won’t go to waste.
I hope these few tips are useful!