Since I’m spending about one sixth of 2011 in Auckland, I’ve decided to get to know New Zillund’s City of Sails a little better.

The Auckland region has three harbours and most Aucklanders live within 5km’s of the sea. Despite all this access to saltwater, some of Auckland’s drinking water comes from a river close to 40km’s away…

Water shortages are an issue in some parts of South Africa, but until today I’ve always thought of water and the way a country or a city deals with their water supply as something that’s localised.

I realised today just how ignorant I’ve been about the global issue of water use. Luckily IΒ had the honour of seeing, or rather experiencing, AQUA live today (Stop humming ‘I’m a Barbie girl’ Β – not referring to the Swedish pop group from the late nineties…).

It’s an inspirational and touching experience that focuses on the power and significance water has for everyone and everything on earth. It doesn’t preach, but it does bring the message home in a very graphic and interactive way that we need to take stock of what we have and how we’re using it, before it’s gone.

And man, do we use it!Β …But before I yap on about this for the next 5000 words and since you can’t experience this in SA (yet, I asked them to bring it!) this video brings home the staggering reality of the impact you have on the world, every day:

ONE DROPΒ is a worldwide NGO that deserves about 2mins of your time, if only to give your careful consideration to some very powerful imagery.

Besides, I think you owe it to yourself to be aware of how tiny changes in your daily routine can actually make a massive difference.

Here are some simple ways to save water and fascinating facts on the impact you can make:

Tweet thisI will install a device to reduce toilet water

Tweet thisA cut-volume device can save 45,000 litres of water per year; the same amount one person will drink over 25 years!
Tweet thisI will use both sides of sheets of paper
Tweet thisIt takes 10 litres of water to make a sheet of paper.
Tweet thisI will swap a meat meal for a vegetarian meal
Tweet thisA kilogram of meat requires 5 to 20 times more water than is used to produce a kilogram of cereal.
Tweet thisI will return unused drugs to the pharmacy
Tweet thisUnused drugs tossed in the garbage or toilet eventually find their way into our water supply.
Tweet thisI will use environmentally-friendly hygiene and cleaning products
Tweet thisWe still do not know how tens of thousands of man-made chemicals affect our water supply and public health.
Tweet thisI will cut back on bottled water
Tweet thisEvery year, around the world, $100 billion is spent on bottled water… Just a quarter of that amount would provide access to safe drinking water to the whole planet!
I’ve decided to close the tap while I brush my teeth every morning, what will you do?