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A scarce resource and how each of us can make a positive impact

Our planet is 75% covered by water, but 97.5% of that water is saltwater. We only have 2.5% of freshwater to drink. Yet, on a daily basis, we use 10 billion tons of freshwater worldwide.

Water is without a doubt the most important resource we have. Our bodies consist of at least 60% of water. Humans also consume about two liters of water each day, through drinking and eating. We need water to grow food. It is safe to say that water is the most essential human need. It is critical for development, growth, and resilience. 

Two billion people lack safe drinking water

This is absolutely shocking that one-quarter of the world’s population – 2 billion people – lack safe drinking water. 

These are quite shocking facts to read, when you live in Europe where you can mostly drink water straight from the tap. And yet, many people who have access to clean water don’t even think about the fact that many people don’t have that. It is amazing to see how much water is wasted in the production industry. To give an example from the food industry: to produce a plain yoghurt it takes roughly 375 liters of water. Onekilogram of chocolate requires 24,000 liters of water

Have you ever thought about how much water you use in a day that just goes down the drain? There are lot of different studies available, but it is fairly safe to estimate that an average person uses at least around 100 liters of water a day. This is quite a lot regarding the fact that over two billion people have no access to clean drinking water. 

Will real-time information change your behaviour?

Will you consciously use less water if you have real time information of how much water you use for what? I think most of us would. And it is not impossible. With the improvement of smart city and smart homes, you can easily get a sensor and a display that shows you in real time how much water you used while washing your hands. 

In Helsinki, smart home Adjutantti is running on BaseN – offering exactly this service. Tenants are able to monitor their resource usage in real-time. BaseN provides apartment-specific real-time electricity, water and heating energy management. Through the real-time monitoring system that runs on BaseN, the residents of Adjutantti have been able to reduce their use of electricity, energy and water by an average of 15% and the number is still growing.

I am a bit disappointed that this service is not made available for everyone, when the necessary systems already exist. I am sure that I would be able to cut my water usage down significantly if I had more awareness. But also without real-time awareness, there is a lot each of us can do. Check out our infographic World Water Day 2022 (1) and share your resource saving tips with us!

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