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What can we do in areas with real water scarcity?

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When water is scarce people typically prioritise water for tasks other than handwashing10 – things like drinking, bathing, laundry, and dishes26.  A key target in areas that are water-scarce will be to reposition handwashing with soap as more important than other household tasks at this time.  

Possible options include: 

  • Re-using handwashing water to water flowers or crops.
  • Design activities and messaging to show  washing hands with soap consumes less water than people might expect by comparing it to another task that is performed regularly in the home e.g. making tea or coffee.
  • Changing or adapting handwashing technologies to reduce the flow of water e.g.  SpaTap8, the Oxfam Handwashing Tap, 16the Drop, 8 and even a simple bucket-style container with a tap has been shown to use less water than pouring from a jug.