"Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink."
About 71% of the Earth is covered by water, so how could we ever go thirsty? Answer: 'cos it just ain't fresh. Freshwater - the stuff we drink, bathe in, water our crops with - is incredibly rare. Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh, and two-thirds of that is locked away in frozen glaciers.
So the reality is that precious old H2O is becoming scarcer, droughts are becoming more widespread, and people are more reckless than ever with how much they go splashing about. According to the WWF, 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year.
Collective action, and a mass changing of habits and attitude towards water consumption are essential if we want to continue to enjoy a fresh water supply beyond 2025. And these 5 inspiring iPhone apps will help you make the small, day-to-day changes required to make a big difference.
Dropcountr aims to help you stay on top of your water bill and daily household consumption by connecting you with real-time data from your utility provider. Tracking how much you've used today, when, and how much it cost you is as easy as a few taps. You'll also get a heads-up on emergency drought alerts, targeted rebates, and watering restrictions in your area.
Ever wondered how long you take in the shower, or how much water you use up when brushing your teeth? Water Timer is a simple and customizable timer which helps you measure exactly how long you keep the water running and how much it's costing you. It'll save you a buck or two, plus make you more mindful of your H2O consumption.
H2O Tracker takes a relatively 'dry' subject (pardon the pun) and makes it 'fun', by gamifying the process of learning about responsible water usage. Not only does it this slick quiz app include tips and advice on how to save water, it compares your water usage against that of other users, and lets you snitch on neighbors who you suspect aren't playing by the rules.
Though not its primary purpose, Vizsafe has become a really popular tool for garnering responsible water usage in the community. This smart community safety app let's you find out what's going on in your neighborhood by providing a platform for sharing geolocated photos and videos. Among its many channels is the 'drought' section, where you can report incidents or name, shame, and frame fellow citizens who aren't doing their bit to save water.
Educate the kids: Captain Plop's water-saving mission
As well as having a brilliant name, Captain Plop water saving from the South Australian Water Corporation is a fun and free eBook for kids, teaching them the whys and wherefores of saving water. With bright illustrations and engaging characters, your little tigers will learn why it's important to turn the tap off, and how they can do their bit for Mother Earth.