Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Natalie Lamb and the 80 litre challenge II: 6 months

I participated in a Smarter Drop Challenge with Anglian Water in February, where I completed a daily water diary and a weekly water meter reading in an attempt to see if I could get my daily water usage to be under 80 l/person/day. After getting over the first hurdle in the challenge (finding my water meter, which you can read more about it in this post), the real challenge began. One month of water saving and I achieved around 71 l/person/day. You can read more about it in this post. This time, the challenge is going up a level, with six months of sticking at or below 80 l/person/day. To make sure I stick with it, every month I'm going to update this post with how it's going and what new approaches I have been taking.

Month One - May

My first meter reading was on 30/04/18 at 000163 97568 and my second was on 30/05/18 at 000167 53035. This means that in May my household used 66.67 liters of water per person per day,

One approach I have been taking is putting the plug in when I shower. I don't like to use the shower timer because I forget to use it and, honestly, I don't like the feeling of it being a mess in the bathroom. Instead, to make myself more aware of the amount of water I use when showering and to minimise my shower time, this month I have been putting the plug in when I shower so I'm aware of the amount of water I have used.

Another approach I have adopted for this month is 2 in 1 conditioner. It might seem like a small difference but it's just another smaller way to try and reduce my shower time.

So this month I have been focusing on my shower time. The two approaches are something I am interested in continuing both for the rest of the challenge and in the longer term. I do sometimes forget to put the plug in and I sometimes treat myself to extra conditioner (particularly after a long run!) but I think it's helping me move towards my water efficiency goal.

Month Two - June

My meter reading for June was taken on 27/06/18 at 000171 12135, meaning that my household used 71.43 liters of water per person per day,

This month my focus was on the value of drinking water. I had been doing some work on the introduction of my PhD about the importance of drinking water. Did you know that over 1.8 billion people use drinking water sources that are contaminated with faeces (WHO and UNICEF, 2017). This, and other contaminated drinking water sources cause an estimated 502,000 diarrhoeal deaths every year (WHO, 2018). If you are interested in finding out more about the value of drinking water, I would recommend reading this report or this summary of it, if you are just looking for the facts. 
Proportion of population using at least basic drinking water services (WHO and UNICEF, 2017)

The weather was great in June so I spent some time camping. Having to carry all my water for cooking, drinking and cleaning really helps put things in perspective. 844 million people lack a basic drinking-water service, which is defined as an "improved drinking-water source within a round trip of 30 minutes to collect water" (WHO, 2018). I was carrying my water for approximately a 5 minute trip one way- and I knew about it!

I really want to keep up with this challenge. I think reviewing the value I place on water has reinforced that for me.   

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