Written by Blog, International Days, The Union

World Water Day

Can there be life without water?

All living things need water to survive. We and all living things like animals and plants need water to grow and live. There is no life without water. Water is so important in our lives. And so it is crucial that we take care not to waste water unnecessarily.

60-75% of the human body weight is water. If the body loses 4% water, that means it is losing water. A loss of 15% can be fatal. A person can live up to a month without food, but not more than three days without water. This clearly shows how water is essential for human life.

Why is water important to us?

Water is very important in our lives to clean, wash clothes and keep ourselves clean. But not only; if we do not drink enough water, the body does not have the water it needs. Water plays a very important role in the biology of the body:

  • Regulates temperature
  • Keeps eyes, nose and mouth moist
  • Protects the body organs
  • Helps the kidneys and liver
  • Provides nutrients and minerals to all parts of the body
  • Helps the body’s joints function properly
  • All parts and organs of the body depend on water.

Water number and statistics

  • Each person consumes about 150 liters of water per day, which is almost 55,000 litres of water per year
  • In 2016, we consumed more than 62 million litres of water in Malta
  • 70% of the world’s water consumption is used in agriculture
  • 20% of the world’s water consumption is used for industry
  • The last 10% is for domestic use
  • Demand for fresh water is increasing by 64 million cubic meters per year
  • So far this year, the world has used almost 700 million litres of water.
  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water.
  • 96% of the world’s water is salt water
  • Only 0.5% of all water in the world is fresh and drinkable

The Energy and Water Agency is running a campaign to raise awareness among the citizens of Malta and Gozo to save water together. The agency is distributing Water Saving Kits, to save a little water every day in every home on our islands with small household items. Dr Michael Schembri from the Energy and Water Agency told us that it is very important not to forget that we use water everywhere and in different situations. In Malta we have water wastage and in order for every house to have enough water a lot of work is done. “The little that is saved makes a difference to the whole country. Everyone’s contribution is a very important value for the country.’’

What is causing the water shortage?

  • Climate change is causing less rain and more heat, leading to more water use
  • The world population is growing (supply and demand)
  • People’s lifestyles are improving
  • Increased food consumption
  • Agriculture has grown due to global demand
  • Changes in lifestyle and eating habits lead to increased water consumption
  • Biofuel production has increased dramatically. Between 1,000 and 4,000 litres of water are needed for every litre of biofuel produced

Stefan Riolo of the Water Services Corporation said the same company has been working in earnest for 20 years on water leaks and repairing damage across the country for 20 years. This damage resulted in a loss of almost 4 million litres of water per hour. WSC managed to reduce this amount to 380 cubic metres per hour. This is a very significant figure worldwide. This was done not only to provide adequate water to the Maltese population, but also to reduce unnecessary energy consumption for the environment.

It is part of human rights that every person has access to fresh water whenever it is needed. The GWU is committed to human rights and would like to remind you that everyone must do their part to reduce water waste because every drop counts. We as a people need to pull together to save as much water as possible.

How can each individual help?

  • Report water leaks in the home
  • Report water leaks on the street immediately
  • Collect rainwater that can be used in fields or to water plants
  • Collect water from dehumidifiers and air conditioners that can be used in fields, to water plants, or to steam clothes.
  • Don’t run water unnecessarily when washing clothes or dishes.
  • Wait until you have enough dirty clothes and dishes before washing them
  • Turn off the water until you brush your teeth or shave
  • Don’t leave the water running until you have washed fruit and vegetables
  • Turn off the water while you wash the car

The Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli stressed the importance of consumers being sustainable in their use of water, a vital resource. “Each and every one of us can help reduce waste in our daily lives,” said Minister Dalli. In fact, one person uses up to 110 gallons of water each day. “Through the Department of Energy, we are trying to create policies to address water scarcity and provide citizens with good, sustainable and efficient access to water.” She stressed that water management is crucial because without water, there is no life.

Contact us if you have more ideas on how we can use less water. It’s a good idea to share these tips with others.