Droichead Nua or Newbridge
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Water is precious. Let's conserve it.
Although we often bemoan the Irish Climate, where rain is generally fairly plentiful all year round, fresh water is not an infinite resource, indeed it is said that usable fresh water accounts for 0. 30 % of total water resources on our planet (most of our water 97% is saline or seawater which is not suitable for drinking). As our population increases so does the pressure on our fresh water supplies.
In April 2012 the Irish Government announced that it will create a publicly owned national water authority - Irish Water – which will be required to manage and improve the delivery of water and wastewater services in Ireland. Irish Water has been established within Bord Gáis Éireann, and will replace the current system where the County Councils are responsible for providing water and wastewater services. Hopefully Irish Water will allocate sufficient funding to repair and replace the ageing network of water pipes which by all accounts are leaking a significant amount of water into the ground.
Currently Ireland’s water supply comes from surface waters, springs or groundwater, regulating and monitoring the quality of the water supply is currently carried out by the Local Authority, once Irish Water is fully established they will take over responsibility for supply and quality of our water.
This will of course mean that the Government will introduce Water Charges, and when these are introduced, people will have a reason to find ways of reducing their water consumption.
Why wait until the Government introduce Water Charges, the time has come to conserve water. Best practice is to START NOW, and reduce the amount of water you are wasting on a daily basis.
- When your meter is installed, start monitoring your water usage, and check out ways to reduce your usage;
- When you notice a leak, repair it yourself or call a plumber, leaks are most common in worn tap fittings, toilet cisterns and radiator connections;
- Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the tap and save energy as well;
- Know where your mains water shut-off valve is located (internally & externally), this could save water and prevent damage to your home in the event of a burst pipe;
- When washing your car use a bucket of water and a sponge, a hose will waste water;
- If using a commercial car wash, use one which recycles water;
- Report broken pipes, leaking hydrants and water leaks to Irish Water or the Council;
In the Kitchen
- When buying new washing machines check the water requirements as well as the energy rating;
- When washing dishes by hand, don't let the hot water run while rinsing;
- Operate your clothes washing machine or dishwasher only when full;
- Keep a jug of water in the fridge, instead of letting the tap run for cold water;
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin of water instead of running water from the tap;
- Washing dark clothes at lower temperatures, saves on water and energy;
In the Bathroom
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you'll save water;
- Consider reusing your towels more than once before washing;
- Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models;
- When running a bath, insert the plug before turning the water on;
- Use a water-efficient showerhead;
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, or shaving;
In the Garden
- Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture in the soil;
- Collect water from your roof in a water butt and use this to water your garden;
- If you have outside taps, check them for leaks;
- Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface;
- Water plants only when absolutely necessary, over-watering plants will kill them, and if watering your flowers refrain from using a hose, use a traditional watering can!;
- The best time of the day to water is early in the morning, or later in the evening, as this will tend to minimise levels of water evaporation;
- Lawns don't need to be hosed;
- Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, and use it to water houseplants;
- Obey any “hose-pipe” regulations imposed by the water supplier;
At Work or School
- All businesses pay water charges to their local authority soon to be Irish Water, therefore it is in the interest of business in general to reduce and control the amount of water being used; ;
- Managers should develop a water management plan for your factory or office, ensuring that all staff are aware of the need for water conservation;
- When purchasing new machinery or equipment know which models conserve energy and water, where possible replace worn out or broken equipment with systems that use water efficiently;
- Water used in general cleaning can be as much as 10% of all water used in some work places. Devise measures to reduce the excessive need, do you need to wash floors or would sweeping / vacuuming suffice?
- Many offices and factories have “automatic” flushing cisterns, which operate through the night and on weekends when there are no employees present. These can be replaced by modern flushing systems which “operate as required”;
- Employees should look for ways to conserve water, and make suggestions about ways to save water and money at work;
- Encourage your local school to develop and promote water conservation among children and adults;
Enfo - The Environmental Information Service
Conserving Energy in The Home - Conservation of Water - Reducing Food Waste - Recycling Electrical / Electronic Equipment WEEE - Recycling Survey - Recycling in Newbridge - Recycle Cans & Foils - European Waste Reduction Week - The Environmental Protection Agency - Building Energy Ratings - Green Schools in Newbridge - NEW08 Newbridge Environment Week