Water saving

Why save water? It's a reasonable question - after all, this country seems to have its fair share of rain. But things are changing; scientists predict that the temperature in the UK will rise significantly by the year 2030. Already, the Environment Agency has identified this region as having the lowest amount of water available per person in the UK, so we all need to make sure we are using it wisely.

Actions

The typical household could save hundreds of litres of water every week by:

  • Turning off taps properly: A dripping tap could waste as much as 90 litres a week.
  • Rinsing teeth after brushing with water from a tumbler instead of running a tap, which wastes almost nine litres a minute.
  • Keeping cool water in the fridge means you won't have to run the tap continually to get a cold drink.
  • Putting a full load in your washing machine. The average wash needs about 95 litres of water. A full load uses less water than two half loads.
  • You can now buy very 'water efficient' washing machines and dishwashers. Look for the European Union 'ECO Label'. They save on energy too.
  • Using the cooled water after boiling an egg for your houseplants. They'll benefit from the nutrients released from the shell.
  • Fitting a 'Water Hippo' into your toilet cistern which saves about three litres a flush.
  • Replacing a toilet cistern to save water. Generally, toilets manufactured after 1993 use less water per flush.
  • Installing a water meter to save you water and money by monitoring how much you use.
  • Just taking a five minute shower every day, instead of a bath. Showers use a third of the water, saving up to 400 litres a week (although power showers can use more water than a bath).
  • Filling kettles with enough water for your needs but not to the brim. This will reduce your fuel bills too.
  • Lagging your pipes to avoid bursts and leaving your heating on a low setting when the house is empty to prevent pipes freezing in winter.
  • Using the dirty water from a fish tank on your houseplants. It's rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, which provide an excellent fertiliser. Water used for boiling eggs (when it is cooled down) is also good for plants.
  • Turning the hot tap down, rather than the cold tap up, if you require cooler water to save water.

See also Conserving Water for ideas on saving water in the garden.

Contacts

  • Useful leaflets with information about saving water in the home and garden are available from:

Environment Agency
Tel 08708 506 506

The Royal Horticultural Society
Tel 020 7834 4333

  • Thames Water's Water Wise web site is a great place to learn about saving water and features a quiz that calculates whether you are 'water wise'. Free Thames Water leaflets and Water Hippos are also available.
    Tel 0845 9200 800 http://www.thameswater.co.uk
  • Affinity Water can provide advice about ways to save water.Water Saving