Water News – 4 storage tips for households

One of the best ways to guarantee water security for our households is learning how to store this water. This is why we are sharing these water storage tips that will ensure households don’t lack this very important resource.

Here are the 4 water storage tips for the household.

#1 Store your water in the right container

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The material that your water storage container is made out of is very important when deciding on where to store household water. Your storage container must be food grade, must be recyclable, and must be sealable. As a caution, avoid using containers that had previously been used to store other liquids like milk or juices because these containers can never be 100 per cent cleaned therefore if you are looking to store water for long term use, it is likely to get contaminated by the milk proteins or juices.

#2 Identify a good preservative for your water

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For most urban and even rural towns, water that is fetched from your tap may not need an additional preservative because it’s already treated. However, if your water is from a source you are not sure about, you will need to add a preservative to it so as to guarantee that it stays for a long period without the risk of contamination. Be conscious of the fact that water preservatives degrade over time therefore familiarize yourself with the shelf life of the preservative you are using.

#3 Identify a good spot to place your storage containers

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Part of getting water storage right is keeping it in a safe environment. This is especially for the case of water that will be intended for drinking. In addition to the right container, where you store the container will also matter. For instance, a dark closet will be better than a garage because in the latter, the container will be exposed to sunlight which is known to quickly degrade preservatives like chlorine.

#4 Ensure your water is replaced every six months

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If you read the label on bottled water, you will notice that it has a shelf life. What this indicates is that water cannot stay pure for long because eventually it will get contaminated by microorganisms that naturally exist in the environment. It’s therefore necessary to replace water from our long term storage containers every six months especially if it’s water for consumption purposes.

As we talk about water storage, we should always remember that other than water for drinking and cooking, we should also store water for other uses such as cleaning utensils, laundry, bathing, cleaning surfaces and all other domestic uses. It’s therefore important to have storage tanks large enough for all these functions, but store water for consumption separately.

5 simple ways to fight deforestation

As we mentioned in our previous article, deforestation can be defined as the permanent eradication of forests through deliberate manmade activities or natural occurrences. We mentioned that this is one of the main reasons for water scarcity globally. Rivers and lakes rely on water from wetlands which are mainly forested areas. In addition to this, forests contribute to evaporation of water during transpiration and it’s this water that ends up in the atmosphere, condenses and cools, and falls back to earth as rain.

Our article was on the effects of deforestation and we promised to look at ways of tackling this problem.

Let’s take a look at 5 simple ways to fight deforestation.

Nurture a tree planting culture

Tree planting is one of the easiest activities that can be done by anyone. In fact, if every human being planted trees in 10 per cent of their land, we would be able to drastically reverse the current effects of deforestation and global warming within a couple of years. We should therefore nurture this culture.

Nurture a paperless culture

By now we know that the main source of the papers we use is trees. Every time we use papers unnecessarily it means a tree somewhere had to be cut down unnecessarily. With the proliferation of computers and the internet, it’s no longer necessary for us to keep using papers as most of the paper functions can be achieved through computer software. Let’s therefore give our forests an opportunity to recuperate by reducing the demand for tree products such as paper.

Nurture a culture of using recycled products

Recycled products are basically products that are being reused. When we use recycled products, it’s a guarantee that this product has not been produced from a recently destroyed forest. It’s therefore important to develop a culture of recycling the products we use in our homes. The idea is to reduce the strain on our forests and give them an opportunity to rejuvenate.

We need to be mind-full of where we source our food

As a rule, we need to be conscious where we source our food from. For instance, if we are buying meat products, we need to ensure that these meat does not come from a place where forests have been cut down. This can be done through paying attention to the labels in the packaging. We’ll also be required to learn as much as possible about the so called multinational companies that pre-package products so that we don’t unintentionally give business to profiteers making money by destroying our planet.

Cut down use of firewood

As responsible human beings, we need to stop using firewood. In as much as we need fire in our fireplaces, we need to turn to alternatives and cut down on our use of firewood. If all of us actively did this, our forests will get an opportunity to recuperate.

Let’s all make an active and deliberate effort to fight deforestation and save our water sources.

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Image source: earth.myworldrules.com

4 major effects of deforestation

Deforestation can be defined as the permanent eradication of forests through deliberate manmade activities or natural occurrences. This is one of the main reasons for water scarcity globally. Rivers and lakes rely on water from wetlands which are mainly forested areas. In addition to this, forests contribute to evaporation of water during transpiration and it’s this water that ends up in the atmosphere, condenses and cools and falls back to earth as rain. In addition to this, deforestation has other effects.

Let’s take a look at the 4 major effects of deforestation.

#1 The loss of habitat

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The loss of habitat is one of the major effects of deforestation. These forests provide a natural habitat for various plants and animal species which play an important role in creating balance in nature. Considering that 70 per cent of animals and plants on land live in forests, it means we cannot afford to seat easy and watch our forests get destroyed.

#2 Increase in Greenhouse gas emissions

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By now, we are all familiar with the concept of global warming. We have noticed a change in weather patterns such as reduced rainfall, flooding, melting glaciers and so on. One of the main causes for this is an increase in Greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. If we as humans don’t make concerted efforts to protect our forests, we are staring at a grim future as these effects of global warming will further get compounded thereby putting our lives at more risk.

#3 Reduction in atmospheric water

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Trees usually help in regulating the amount of water in the atmosphere by regulating water cycles. This mostly happens during transpiration when leaves release water into the atmosphere which ends up dropping back into the earth. However, the more trees are destroyed, the less the water being released into the atmosphere hence less moisture ending up in the soil. Dryer soils will eventually reduce our ability to cultivate food hence contributing to food insecurity especially in developing nations where this is a huge problem.

#4 Increased flooding and soil erosion

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The presence of tree cover usually helps in securing soil firmly in place thereby ensuring that the soil does not lose all its rich nutrients during strong winds or rain. However, when these trees are destroyed, the soil loses this protection hence whenever there are strong winds or rainfall, all the top fertile soil is washed away by the flowing water. Lack of trees also leaves the land bare thereby making it increasingly susceptible to flooding which further increases soil erosion.

These are just some of the effects of deforestation however, there are plenty more effects we ought to be aware of. In our next post, we will look at ways of preventing deforestation.

These are 7 ways we can use to prevent water pollution

As we have established, water pollution is the introduction of harmful material known as pollutants into water bodies such as lakes, rivers, streams, among others. This contamination will result in the water being unfit for both human and animal consumption and this is a risk to the survival of both.

Some of the main causes of pollution of water sources arechemical based agricultural pesticides, industrial wastes, domestic garbage, and commonly used chemical based insecticides.

These are 7 ways we can use to prevent water pollution.

Enforcing pollution laws

All countries have laws that regulate pollution and these are laws that are internationally recognized and greed upon. A country’s leadership should therefore make a deliberate effort to ensure these laws are strictly enforced. Citizens should also go through civic education so that they are aware of the existence of these laws and why they are important.

Through treatment of sewage

It’s advisable for us to purposefully develop better ways of treating sewage from households in a way that is environmentally safe. Whether in big cities or small town, the idea is to set up measures to ensure that sewage from households does not get into contact with natural water sources. It’s therefore advisable to construct a pit that is far from any rivers, wells and other natural water sources, or develop a sewage treatment facility.

Treating waste before it’s discharged

As a rule, factories should be forced to treat allwaste material before it’s discharged into the environment. This should especially be a requirement for toxic material which have to be treated and converted using certain chemicals into harmless material. Factories should be encouraged to set up recycling plants to limit discharge of its effluents.

Establishing treatment plants

As a way of reducing contaminants in waste water before it’s introduced into the environment, it’s important to have these waste go through a treatment plant. This is especially important for cities, small towns as well as factories which emit effluent material. The purpose of a treatment plant is to filter out material that can’t dissolve in water, as well as using certain chemicals to separate unwanted material and other chemicals. Water that has been treated can then be reused to irrigate farming fields around the treatment plants.

Enhanced public awareness

It’s important to enhance the level of public awareness on the effects and importance of tackling pollution. Both governments and the civil society should work together in public awareness campaigns so that this message can spread far and wide. This is a global challenge that needs a global response from all stakeholders. Different methods can be used to enhance public awareness such as the mass media, social media, edutainment in schools and at home, and many more.

Reducing pollution is the responsibility for all humans because we each have a stake on earth and we all need clean water for our survival.

5 types of water pollution you should know

Water is an important resource for the survival of both humans and animals. However this resource faces threats of contamination that are manmade and are likely to cause serious problems if not mitigated. The key to solving these problems is first being able to understand them. This is the reason behind this article.

We are going to briefly look into the 5 causes of water pollution with the goal of improving our knowledge on this subject.

Pollution of surface water

As the name suggests, surface water is the water found on the earth’s surface in places like lakes, rivers, streams, among others. Surface water gets polluted mostly by hazardous material like chemicals from factories or fertilizers from farms that gets into contact and dissolves into the water.

Depletion of oxygen

Most of the earth’s water bodies contain micro-organisms that could either be aerobic or anaerobic so as to maintain a natural balance. When so much biodegradable material are introduced into the water bodies, it will create a conducive environment for the rapid growth of these micro-organism which will result in oxygen depletion thereby causing the death of the aerobic organisms. This disturbs the natural balance because the anaerobic organisms will increase in number thereby filling the water with harmful toxins like sulfides and ammonia.

Pollution of ground water

The use of chemical based material such as pesticides and fertilizers in the soil ends up being absorbed underground whenever it rains and these chemicals end up in underground water sources thereby contaminating them. This is the reason why it’s important to test water from wells and boreholes before it can be consumed.

Presence of particulate matter

Most of the chemical based substances that we use in factories or farms are known not to dissolve in water. These are what are referred to as particulate matter. When these substances make their way to a body of water, they will cause pollution and harm or even kill the aquatic micro-organisms and other organisms living in the water.

Pollution through oil spillage

This is a form of pollution most of us must be aware of following high profile cases that have been experienced such as the BP spill a few years back. Oil spills on water bodies will often result in the deaths of fish and other living organisms as a result of this form of pollution because it depletes oxygen from the water.

Most of these are man-made effects which if they go unabated, are likely to cause major global problems. It’s therefore important for us to make a conscious decision to change the way we handle chemical waste material if we are to protect our water sources.

In our next article, we will look at ways of preventing water pollution.

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Infographic by: richmondvale.org

Water purification tips for the home

Your home water source may get contaminated for one reason or the other. It may be the result of a natural disaster, breakdown in the civil services, or any other unforeseen reason. This however should not leave you helpless. There are ways you can purify this water and make it safe for human consumption thereby reducing your risk of exposure to waterborne illnesses.

Here is how you go about it.

Step 1: Collate the water from your natural environment

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The first thing you are required to do is collate all the remaining water from your natural environment. This starts with your home where you can melt all your ice cubes, drain all the waterfrom your heaters and collect all the water from your toilet tanks. Once you have done this, you need to start scouting external water sources. These could be water from wells, lakes, ponds or streams. Ensure you don’t use water that appears to have been stagnant or has a bad odor. The assumption here is that you are completely out of water.

Step 2: You need to create a purification filter

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In the event all the water you have collated or most of it has been contaminated with particles, you will need a purification filter to remove these particles from your water. There are many ways to create a purification filter, just ensure the material you use is clean so that you don’t further contaminate the water. Also, the container in which you filter in the clean water should be clean.

Step 3: Boil the filtered water

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You need to know that filtering water is not enough. Removing particles is just the beginning. Water usually has microscopic organisms such as bacteria, viruses and other parasites that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Boiling this water is therefore a very effective way of to purify the water as it will kill all these microorganisms which are usually disease causing. Once you have boiled the water, allow it to cool and then store it in a clean container that is sealable.

Step 4: Chlorine is an alternative to boiling

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If you are in a situation where boiling your water is not a possibility, then chlorine is your best alternative. However, you should keep in mind that it may not be as effective as boiling because chemical treatment has been proven not to provide 100 per cent protection against certain harmful microorganisms. Just keep in mind that high quantities of chlorine are poisonous therefore attentively follow the measurement instructions.

If you follow these steps correctly, you can be guaranteed that you and your loved ones will be consuming clean and safe water hence guaranteeing your protection against waterborne illnesses.

These are the 6 health benefits of consuming sufficient water

This is a fact that everybody must be aware of, the human body is composed of about 60 per cent water therefore we are required to make deliberate efforts to maintain this percentage. This is precisely why doctors or nutritionists will recommend taking at least eight glasses of water every day.

Let’s take a look at 6 health benefits of consuming sufficient water.

#1 Sufficient water in your body boosts your brain function

Medical experts will affirm that your hydration status will strongly influence your brain function. According to some studies, some aspects of your brain function can be impaired by even mild dehydration.

#2 Sufficient water can maximize physical performance

It’s important to know that physical performance can greatly be enhanced by simply staying hydrated. This is particularly true if you engage in intense exercise especially when there is a lot of heat. During exercise, the body will lose between 2 and 10 per cent of its water content through sweat and this will result in dehydration which will cause increased fatigue. Staying sufficiently hydrated ensures your body performs at its peak.

#3 Sufficient water helps to prevent frequentheadaches

Many people who suffer from frequent headaches seldom know that dehydration is one of the triggers of headaches and migraines. The good news is that treating these problem may just be as simple as increasing the quantity of water you consume every day. Some studies have revealed that you can relieve your headaches through staying sufficiently hydrated.

#4 Sufficient water may help relieve constipation

At some point we have experienced constipation. This is when we experience difficulty in passing stool. It’s quite simple treating this problem. All it requires is increasing fluid intake which simply means drinking more water. Specifically, carbonated water has been proven to relieve constipation.

#5 Sufficient water may help treat kidney stones

Kidney stones are basically clumps of minerals that form crystal-like substances referred to as kidney stones in the urinary system thereby causing pain. Whereas there is no concrete medical evidence that water intake will cure and prevent kidney stones from recurring, the fact is that when you consume sufficient fluids, the amount of urine going through your kidney will increase thereby diluting the mineral concentration hence lessening the formation of kidney stones.

#6 Sufficient water prevents hangovers

As you may or may not know, a hangover is the unpleasant feeling you experience in the morning after a night of drinking. The trick to avoiding this feeling is drinking plenty of water. As a recommendation, you are required to take a glass of water for every two drinks you take and ensure to take at least another glass of water before you sleep. This is mainly because a hangover is partly caused by dehydration therefore sufficient water reduces its effects.

Be sure to increase your water intake and get to enjoy some of these benefits.

4 simple ways to purify your water

Because of the existence of many contaminants, water from natural sources is often not safe for human consumption unless it first goes through some form of purification. It’s only after this has been done that you can drink the water.

Let’s take a look at 4 simple techniques of water purification.

Boiling the water

Boiling water is one of the most reliable ways of purifying water. Exposing the water to high temperatures will kill most known contaminants thereby making the water safe for drinking. It’s one of the easiest water purification techniques that is used world over.

Purification using iodine

Using iodine either, its solution or its tablet form is another effective technique of water purification. Iodine has the capability of killing a wide range of bacteria and viruses that are known to contaminate water. The only downside is that it may leave water with an aftertaste that most people don’t like.

Purification using chlorine

Chlorine is a chemical element with the ability to kill bacteria. It’s one of the widest used water purification techniques globally. The only point of caution is that chlorine can also be poisonous if used in excess quantities therefore plenty of caution is necessary.

Use ofultraviolet light

Ultraviolet light is known to have bacteria killing properties therefore making it a good technique for water purification. You are simply required to run your ultraviolet light above your water for a couple of minutes and it will eliminate the bacteria. This is a convenient water purification method because your UV source is mostly portable meaning you can carry it around with you.

All these methods are effective when cleaning clear water, however, when dealing with unclear water, you will need to first filter it to remove all solid contaminants then apply any of the above purification methods. These are purification techniques that can be applied in any part of the world and will make the water safe for human consumption.

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Infographic by: shamrockplumbing.net

These are the 5 main natural water sources

Water is a natural resource that we can’t live without. All humans need water on a daily basis for their survival. The question however is do we know where this important resource comes from? It’s important for us to understand where our water comes from so that we can have a better appreciation for this important resource.

Here are the 5main natural water sources.

#1 Marine sources

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Marine sources of water are basically the oceans and seas which cover about 71 per cent of the earth. This is actually the largest source of water estimated to be about 1.3 billion cubic kilometers of salty water.

#2 Rain water

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Here is where things get scientific. The water on the surface of the earth often evaporates, and once in the atmosphere it cools down and amalgamates. Once this happens, it drops back to earth as rain. This is the source of water that is mostly relied upon by both humans and animals world over for survival.

#3 Glaciers

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When different snow falls accumulate over a long period of time, let’s say millennia, they form glaciers. These glaciers are responsible for producing rock flour which is the material that makes glacial lakes appear blue in color. The water produced from glaciers is free of salt and minerals.

#4 Surface Water

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Surface water is basically rainfall or ice melt that accumulates on the earth’s surface to form lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. In most cases, these will be sources of fresh water unless the lake lacks an outlet then it becomes salty.This is another source of water heavily relied upon by both humans and animals.

#5 Ground water

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When water makes its way into the earth mostly via the porous soil as well as rock fractures, it ends up collecting in underground reservoirs. This water can then be used provided it has not been exposed to contaminants underground.

We trust this has been some helpful piece of information.