People in Flanders use 89 litres of water per day – or some 74 cubic metres per year – which is one of the most economical rates in the European Union. However, according to the NGO Water Foot Print Network, Belgians are some of the biggest consumers of water in the world.
Whatever the data says, Belgium is struggling with prolonged drought, and drinking water companies are emphasising that every little drop counts. Here are some tips on how to lower your water footprint.
More than shorter showers
Over a quarter of the water used per day comes from the shower, at an average of 27 litres per day, according to the Flemish Environment Agency. At around 10 litres of water per minute, saving water under the shower is a matter of seconds.
But apart from taking shorter showers, small investments such as a water-saving shower head can easily reduce your water usage by 6 or 7 litres per shower. A ‘mixer’ tap, which provides water of all temperatures through the same valve, wastes less water than having separate taps for hot and cold.
An easy way to save water is avoiding the bathtub, as a single bath can contain more than 100 litres of water - which eventually all goes down the drain.
Flushing the toilet
Using the toilet also makes up a large part of our daily water use, at an average of 19 litres per day. Replacing the classic flushing system with a savings button can save 20 litres of water per family member.
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An easier and more affordable trick is place filled water bottles and stones in the toilet, which allows less water to flow out and get wasted.
Washing more with less
As the washing machine is the third largest water consumer in Flemish families, another easy tip is waiting to turn on the washing machine before switching it on, saving both water and energy. The same strategy can be applied to dishes, whether you wash them by hand or with a machine: doing it in one go always saves water.
While there might currently not be an abundance of rainwater, it’s cheap and easy to save rainwater during the wetter seasons. A rain barrel and a rainwater well are relatively cheap and help to recover water.