97.5% of the world’s water is locked in seas and oceans, too salty for human use. And most of the remaining 2.5% is in the ice caps.
So we humans depend on the tiny bit available as fresh water – an essential natural resource for life.
But we don’t just use water for drinking. We wash in it, clean with it, and use it to produce everything from clothing to food. Crop production – including feed for livestock and biofuels – is putting a great strain on fresh water supplies.
Our water comes from rivers, lakes and sources like the Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire (pictured).
Many of us only really think about water shortages during heatwaves. But our water system is overstretched regardless of extreme heat, and climate chaos is expected to heap even more pressure on our depleting supplies. People in England are facing shortages by 2050 unless we save water fast – according to the UK Environment Agency.
So heatwave or no heatwave, read on for ways to save water which could also save you money.