As we were sending this Summer Issue to press, it rained for five minutes in Florence. For a country that hasn’t really experienced precipitation in months, it was five minutes of hope. Now that the summer is here, the time has come to preserve our water supplies.
The news isn’t entirely concerning. In a recent Facebook post, the Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, pointed out the importance of the Bilancino Dam, in the Mugello area. “Due to Bilancino, the entire metropolitan area of Florence can face this current dry spell relatively calmly. Out of 69 million cubic metres of water, 65 million cubic metres are available and recent investments in the water supply means that we have been able to save losses of 20 million cubic metres. We’ll carry on in this direction, but it’s important that each of us avoids pointlessly wasting this precious resource.”
Here are 10 ways to save on water this summer from the City of Florence and the utility company Publiacqua
- Only use washing machines and dishwashers for full loads.
- Wash dishes, fruit and vegetables in a basin and not under running water. (Washing dishes using pasta cooking water is a superb way to remove grease, which can be used with less washing-up liquid in a win-win situation.)
- Add diffuser and flow reducing devices to taps.
- Turn off the taps while shaving, washing your teeth, etc. Bathroom taps have a flow rate of more than 10 litres/minute.
- Install or use a double flush.
- Shower instead of bathing. Filling a tub uses four times the amount of water than a shower does. Remember than every minute in the shower uses between 6 and 10 litres of water.
- Monitor your water consumption. Check the water metre with the taps off to check for any leakages and making any necessary repairs.
- Eat responsibly, considering the resources used to make foodstuffs. (Approximately 15,000 litres of water are needed to produce a kilogram of beef.)
- Avoid washing your car or do it by using a bucket instead of running water.
- Water your garden and plants frugally and after sunset, using recycled or rainfall or using an irrigation system. Add plenty of mulching to protect plants against the heat and drought.