The responsible use of water resources is one of the main challenges that we, human beings face nowadays. The waste of water in the cities is, therefore, a big problem.
It is an undeniable fact that sometimes we’re so bad at managing our freshwater resources that in the process we have created deserts, poisoned millions of hectares of land with salt and killed entire lakes -in some cases, we are even making them disappear.
The demand for clean water is expected to double in the next 40 years worldwide. Coupled with the uncertainty of weather patterns in the face of climate change, we cannot take it for granted that we will always have enough water. Restaurants are amongst the more vulnerable businesses affected by the poor water access and high utility costs. Therefore, to thrive in our changing climate, restaurateurs should learn to conserve water and adapt to a future where water is more expensive and not as readily available.
The foodservice and hospitality sector use about 10-15 per cent of the total water consumption in commercial and institutional facilities in Singapore. While water is a necessity when it comes to commercial kitchen operations, going mostly to equipment operations, food preparation, and cleaning – it’s still a limited resource. This means that water conservation should be at the forefront of every restaurant owner’s mind.
Inevitably, water use affects a restaurant’s operating cost, environmental impacts and – in an increasingly environmentally savvy market – brand image. If restaurants that implement water-efficient practices can decrease operating costs by roughly 10-14 per cent, energy use by 10 per cent and water use by 15 per cent.
In developed countries, the average person wastes up to 110 litres of water every day. In a world where so much of the population lack access to safe water and sanitation, it’s shameful that we still waste so much water.
In Singapore, we do not have aquifers or groundwater. We rely on rain as a source of water but we cannot afford to use large areas of land to collect and store rainwater. Therefore, we need to be more conscious about our water consumption and we should make every drop count!
Common water waste activities:
Down the drain
One of the most common ways in which people waste is by leaving the water running when brushing their teeth, shaving and doing the dishes.
- We should thrive to be a water saver by ensuring that the tap is off when brushing teeth and soaping of the dishes.
Did you know that taking long showers wastes twenty and forty litres of water?
- You can turn off the tap while soaping or invest in a low-flow showerhead, aim for quick showers or simply bathe using a bucket and pail. A water-efficient showerhead can help save nearly 2839 litres of water a month.
Leaky faucets, toilets and Unrepaired leaks
Leaky tank valves draining water into the toilet waste up to 3785 litres of water a month. One of the most common culprits of water wastage at home is the leaky faucet and toilet. It may seem insignificant but the little drips can add up. A constantly leaking toilet can waste up to 83 litres of water every day which adds up 30283 litres of water in a year.
Water wastage from pipes or water appliances often goes unnoticed as well. Loose tap fittings, malfunctioning toilet cisterns and leaking water pipes can all lead to a huge waste of water.
For instance, a typical leak from a kitchen can amount to 10,000 litres per year, which is over 6600 large bottles
- If you notice a leaky pipe, faucet, or toilet, get it fixed immediately.
Wasting water in the kitchen
The kitchen uses a lot of water and there are plenty of ways in which one may unknowingly waste it. Washing fruits and vegetables in running water will not get them any cleaner than washing them in a pan filled with water.
- If you feel better only when you wash fruits and vegetables under running water, then at least collect that water and use it to water potted plants.
Running a dishwasher that is not full and washing less than full loads in the clothes washer.
- Typical clothes washers use 132-189 litres per load whether full or not so why not help to save your bills to wash clothes and dishes that are on full load
In Singapore, we are lucky to have easy access to clean water from the taps. However, this also makes it easy for us to end up using more water than we need daily. When clean water comes at the turn of a tap, it is easy to waste water without noticing.
Solutions & simple water-saving tasks
For the Restaurant, the best opportunities to save water is to replace ageing restaurant equipment with energy-saving certified products are:
- Ice machines
Building employee awareness
Outside of replacing old fixtures, refitting faucets and repairing leaks, water consumption comes down to employee habits. Teach employees that water consumption is important, and train them on how to use only what’s necessary. Help make a difference! Save water and reduce our water footprint.