Hydration for health
Jessica Rees
Sustainability and Engagement Officer
3 minute read

This Nutrition and Hydration Week we celebrate the health benefits of a healthy water supply.

Water is crucial to life, for us and all other life on our planet.  97.5% of the world's water is locked in the ocean (which is full of salt) and the remaining 2.5% of water is mainly frozen in the icecaps, trickling to us via our rivers and streams.

The human body is 60% water, and fresh water is essential for our health. It keeps us hydrated and keeps our organs healthy, flushing out waste.

Not having access to freshwater is a real health risk. Clean, fresh water is equally important. Dirty and contaminated water is linked to diseases like cholera and legionnaires disease.

Ways we use our water

Water is not only needed for drinking but also for cooking, cleaning, and the production of clothing and food (for livestock too), this can put strain on our fresh water supplies and in some countries, it is not always readily available.

Around six countries can account for half of the Earth's freshwater supply!

This is why we need to look after the water we do have; so we'll have water when we need it in the future.

Here are some ways we can protect and save our water at home:

Keep the tap off – Keeping your tap off when brushing your teeth or washing up can save around six litres of water a minute.

 

hands holding a metal bowl and washing it under a tap

 

Don't let it drip - Fixing those leaky taps could save around 60 litres of water a week going down the drain.

Wash with a full load – Wait until you have a full load of dirty clothes before washing them to maximise water usage. It still uses the same amount of water and energy whether you have a small load or a full load.

 

a white towel hanging out of a washing machine door

 

Stick to showers – Cut out the baths and take a short shower. Keeping showers to four minutes can save the average UK family 21,900 litres of water a year (enough to make 300 cups of tea). Asking your water company for a free shower timer can help you keep track of time.

Ditch the hose and use a watering can – When watering your plants, a hose pipe can use up to 16 litres of water a minute, whereas a watering can, uses up to 5 litres of water.

 

a watering can spray water on green plants

 

Save the rain - A water butt in your garden is another great way to avoid wasting water. A water butt will catch rainwater and could save around 5,000 litres of fresh water a year if you use it to water your garden.

Fresh water we save from waste means more water for us; ensuring we can stay hydrated and healthy today and into the future. Saving water in our homes can not only save us money but it can save our energy too. Reducing our water usage can reduce our carbon footprint.