World Water Day occurs on the 22nd day in March every year to bring awareness to the global water crisis. When people turn their attention to countries that lack sources of water looking for solutions by trying to squeeze every drop of water to save lives, in Albania we just leave the tap run.

Did you know that 67.2% of the overall water in Albania is wasted or misused?

In many cities of Albania, water availability at the source is about 500 to 700 litres per capita per day, but leaks and waste, mean that only a small fraction of the water produced is consumed. According to country official data, about 60 per cent of all water produced cannot be accounted for. It just loses away.

Clean water has become a necessity of human life in general, but not all citizens in Albania could get clean water for daily consumption. On average, water is available only 3-4 hours per day, with certain areas receiving water only once in three days. Therefore, each person should have the awareness to save water. By saving water usage in our daily life, in addition to saving money, this is also a wise move for the environment, especially for the sake of the availability of clean water that is increasingly difficult and decreases due to increasing levels of water pollution.

AgroWeb based on the data from Circle of Blue strives to identify and describe the importance of fresh water and 10 things you should know about water consumption;

10 Things You Should Know:

1 – Seventy percent of the world’s water is used for agriculture, In Albania the agricultural sector is the biggest consumer of fresh water (60% of the total water use). 22 percent of the world’s water is used for industry and 8 percent for domestic use. Low and middle income countries use 82 percent of their water for agriculture, 10 percent for industry and 8 percent for domestic use. High income countries use 30 percent of their water for agriculture, 59 percent for industry and 11 percent for domestic use.

2 - One drop of oil can make up to 25 liters of water undrinkable.

3 - A person is able to survive one month without food but only five to seven days without water.

4 - Of all the Earth’s water, 97.5 percent is salt and 2.5 is fresh. Of that water, about 70 percent is locked in glacial ice and 30 percent in soil, leaving under 1 percent (.007 percent of the total water) readily accessible for human use.

5 - A water footprint, or virtual water, is the amount of water used in the entire production and/or growth of a specific product. For example, 1 kilogram of beef has a water footprint of 16,000 liters, one sheet of paper has a water footprint of 10 liters, one cup of tea has a water footprint of 35 liters.

6 - It takes 94.5 to 189.3 liters of water to take a five-minute shower; 7.6 to 26.5 liters to flush a toilet; 7.6 liters to brush one’s teeth; and 75.7 liters to hand wash dishes.

7 - 6,000 children die each day from preventable water-related diseases.

8  - 1.1 billion people lack adequate drinking water access; and 2.6 billion people lack basic water sanitation.

9  - The average European uses 250 liters of water per day. In the world 1.1 billion people lack adequate water access, using less than 19 liters per day.

10 - The average European uses 13.2 times more water than a person who lacks adequate water access.

Fresh water resources in numbers – Albania

The area surrounding Albania has relatively abundant fresh water resources. Seven main rivers run from east to west in Albania. The contribution of rivers discharge into the Adriatic sea is very large (95%), compared to the discharge into Ionian sea (5%). There are two characteristic periods in the year, in terms of the water flow: the wet period, (October - May) and the dry one (June - September). 86% of the annual water flow is discharged during the wet period and 8% during the dry one. June is the transition period, accounting for 6% of the annual water flow.

A decrease in the long term mean annual and seasonal runoff is projected for the whole territory of Albania; according to model outputs, a small decrease in the long term mean annual runoff is forecasted of 6.3% to 9.1% in 2025. A further decrease is expected towards 2100.

Reduction in ground water supply in combination with the increase of salinity of the ground water supply will bring shortage of adequate quality of drinking water. Moreover, the demand for drinking water and water use for social and economic purposes may be expected to increase because of population growth.

So next time you’re brushing your teeth or taking a shower, do not let the tap run endlessly, be smart and make every drop count!/