A new study has shown that if you tap the tap in your home, your water may be more valuable than if you drink it from a tap in a city centre.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers at the Australian Water Research Institute, showed that households that had a tap were much more likely to save 50% of the water they consumed as compared to households that didn’t have a tap.
The team surveyed 6,000 households across Australia, including 3,000 people who were randomly selected from a national sample.
The researchers asked people what their water usage was and asked them to give their water consumption, based on a previous survey, and then they found that households with tap water were more likely than those without to conserve the water.
“There are a lot of benefits to having tap water in your house,” Dr Harsh Pandey, lead author and professor of water management at the ANU, told news.com.au.
“It allows you to have an abundance of water and it also reduces the need for people to use the toilet, and so there are some environmental benefits to using tap water.”
Dr Pandey said the study showed that the tap water was still important to some people.
“The tap water is actually not as valuable as drinking from a toilet, so if you’re going to have a toilet in your bathroom and you’ve got to take a leak, you’re not going to save as much water from using the toilet,” Dr Pandey explained.
“So, you still need to conserve that water.”
The study also found that those who lived in larger cities were much less likely to conserve water than those living in smaller cities, with the researchers concluding that there were several environmental benefits that go beyond simply water saving.
“So the implication of this is that small cities are actually a bit of a bad investment in the long run,” Dr Michael Soh, lead researcher on the study and the lead author of the paper, told the ABC.
The researchers also found significant differences in the quality of water from tap and tap water, and that the differences could be attributed to the tap being filtered and purified, and the quality water being stored for long periods of time.
Dr Panday said the paper showed that there was a significant need to monitor water usage in cities, as well as in rural areas, to ensure that people were making good decisions about how much water they use.
“If you’re looking at water conservation in a rural area, you need people to actually have a look at their water use and if they’re drinking less than their local community,” Dr Soh said.
“And if they’ve been drinking more than their community, then you need them to get a look and see what’s going on and take action.”
The paper was published in the journal Water Resources Research.