By thinking carefully about your water use in the home and changing some water wasting habits, it is easy to save water.
Although we appear to have plenty of rain in the UK, our water resources are under pressure. We use 70% more water today than we did 40 years ago.
Our demand for water increases yearly, to the extent that no matter what the water companies do, eventually they will not be able to keep up. Water also requires huge amounts of energy both to treat it and pump it to our houses, so our thirst for water is damaging our planet in more ways than one.
What you can do
The good news is that there are many simple things you can do at home and work to reduce our consumption of water. As well as helping to secure our water supply both for ourselves and future generations, we also benefit in many other ways.
By cutting down on our water use, you can:
- save money, especially if on a water meter
- reduce the possibility of water shortages and summer water rationing
- reduce emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change
- reduce the amount of energy and chemicals used in the treatment and pumping of water
- reduce damage to wildlife habitats in wetlands and rivers
Water saving tips
- try not to leave the tap running while brushing your teeth, shave or wash your hands, as this can waste up to 5 litres of water per minute.
- vegetables and fruit should be washed in a bowl rather than under a running tap and the leftover water can be used for watering house plants.
- use the minimum amount of water required when you boil the water in saucepans and kettles; that way, you'll save energy as well as water.
You can also consider installing a water butt to collect the rainwater from your roof, rather than wasting treated drinking water on your garden. You could have two or more water butts and link them so that when one is full, the surplus water is diverted into the others.
Avoid pouring waste grease, fat or cooking oil down your kitchen sink or drain, as these quickly cool and solidify, and the fatty deposits build up and cause blockages. This is generally only noticed during periods of heavy rain, when blocked sewers can overflow onto gardens and into properties. Put all your waste fat and grease to good use - mix it up into a "bird cake" with some nuts, seeds and raisins and hang it out for the garden birds to feed on.
Affinity Water is one of our local water companies. They have a range of water saving devices available free for local people.
Waterwise is an independent, not for profit organisation focused on decreasing water consumption in the UK and building the evidence base for large scale water efficiency. They are the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK.