Oslo wants you to save water by peeing in the shower

Water can be saved and the environment helped by peeing in the shower, an Oslo Municipality section manager has advised.

Oslo wants you to save water by peeing in the shower
Photo: IgorVetushko/Depositphotos

Although Norway does not generally experience water shortages due to its climate, an emergency situation was declared in 2017, when measures to save water were temporarily introduced.

Long-term, weather changes and ageing pipes could see water become a more expensive resource, NRK has previously reported.

As such, Oslo Municipality’s Water and Sewage Administration (Vann- og avløpsetaten) has offered a useful tip to reduce water waste: it’s ok to pee in the shower.

“We have to stop wasting (water),” section leader of the municipality’s water department Frode Hult told NRK.

According to Statistics Norway, each person in the country uses an average of 182 litres of water daily – almost twice as much as in neighbouring Denmark, according to NRK’s report.

As such, there’s plenty of room for reduction.

“We could, for example, pee in the shower,” Hult said to NRK.

“(It sounds like a strange suggestion) but it's a fine idea. We can also brush our teeth in the shower. It’s also good for the environment, because municipalities use a lot of electricity cleaning water,” he said.

In addition, Hult advised turning off water faucets while brushing teeth; scraping waste food from plates and cutlery before using the dishwasher (rather than rinsing); only using the dishwasher when it is full; using economic dishwasher and washing machines; and refraining from watering lawns.

The amount of water used varies considerably from one area to another: cities use a lot more than rural areas, while some locations have more water sources than others.

Saving on water consumption could give municipalities more money to fix leaky pipes, according to one argument, with up to 30 percent of water pipes across the country less than watertight.

“It’s a big problem. A lot of water disappears because of leakages,” Marius Fjellås, who works for the municipality in Trondheim said to NRK. Part of Fjellås' job is to locate such leaks, NRK writes.

But peeing in the shower is probably not the first step towards solving the problem, according to Fjellås.

“It’s not what I’d start with,” he said, adding:

“We have more water sources here than in Oslo, so we have enough water. But it’s naturally fine to save a little”.

READ ALSO: Half a million Norwegians forced to save water


Greenpeace sounds alarm over Spain’s ‘poisonous mega farms’

The “uncontrolled” growth of industrial farming of livestock and poultry in Spain is causing water pollution from nitrates to soar, Greenpeace warned in a new report on Thursday.

Greenpeace sounds alarm over Spain's 'poisonous mega farms'
Pollution from hundreds of intensive pig farms played a major role in the collapse of Murcia Mar Menor saltwater lagoon. Photo: JOSEP LAGO / AFP

The number of farm animals raised in Spain has jumped by more than a third since 2015 to around 560 million in 2020, it said in the report entitled “Mega farms, poison for rural Spain”.

This “excessive and uncontrolled expansion of industrial animal farming” has had a “serious impact on water pollution from nitrates”, it said.

Three-quarters of Spain’s water tables have seen pollution from nitrates increase between 2016 and 2019, the report said citing Spanish government figures.

Nearly 29 percent of the country’s water tables had more than the amount of nitrate considered safe for drinking, according to a survey carried out by Greenpeace across Spain between April and September.

The environmental group said the government was not doing enough.

It pointed out that the amount of land deemed an “area vulnerable to nitrates” has risen to 12 million hectares in 2021, or 24 percent of Spain’s land mass, from around eight million hectares a decade ago, yet industrial farming has continued to grow.

“It is paradoxical to declare more and more areas vulnerable to nitrates”, but at the same time allow a “disproportionate rise” in the number of livestock on farms, Greenpeace said.

Pollution from hundreds of intensive pig farms played a major role in the collapse of one of Europe’s largest saltwater lagoons, the Mar Menor in Spain’s southeast, according to a media investigation published earlier this week.

Scientists blamed decades of nitrate-laden runoffs for triggering vast blooms of algae that had depleted the water of the lagoon of oxygen, leaving fish suffocating underwater.

Two environmental groups submitted a formal complaint in early October to the European Union over Spain’s failure to protect the lagoon.