We can all do a little more to use less water

Did you know that the average person uses around 140 litres of water every day? That’s a pretty staggering amount, however we all tend to take water for granted when we turn on the tap.

Although here in the UK most of us are lucky enough to have running water in our homes, schools and workplaces, there are still over two billion people across the world who live without safe water. Without access to safe drinking water, some people do not have the time to work or gain education because they are travelling several miles a day just for any water they can find.

Some may think that water scarcity is limited to hotter parts of the world, however the Environment Agency predicts that if we don’t change some of our behaviours here in the UK, we all face the threat of water shortages within the next 30 years.

We believe it’s important that we try to use water more wisely all year round in our day-to-day lives. Here’s a few simple ways you can cut down - and save on your water bill too!

Look closely at your daily routines

From bathing/showering, using the toilet, washing clothes and dishes and of course drinking water, looking at how you personally use water every day can highlight simple ways to save more, both at home and at work. Here’s some examples of how you can benefit from changes to your daily routines:

  • Using running water to prepare food such as vegetables wastes hundreds of litres of water – so avoid leaving taps unattended for periods of time. Fill a bowl with water and use that instead.
  • Turn the tap off when cleaning your teeth – leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth wastes as much as six litres per minute. It is quite literally pouring money down your drain!
  • Reduce the length of your shower – by reducing your shower from ten minutes to four, you will save more than 300 litres of water every week. That’s almost the same amount of water as two full baths!
  • Keep a jug of tap water topped up in the fridge in the warmer months, so you don’t need to run the tap for a cold drink.

Avoid unnecessary waste

Look at some ways to reduce waste or recycle water in your home or business, for example:

  • Installing a water butt means you can use rain water to clean windows and floors, as well as to water indoor plants and outdoor garden areas.
  • Check for anything in need of repair such as leaking taps, which can waste hundreds of litres of water a day.
  • Leaking toilets are the biggest culprits for wasting water - 1 in 10 toilets has a leak and could be increasing your water bills without you noticing.
  • If you see your business bills increasing and do not know why, you may have an underground leak, which can often go unnoticed and could result in a burst pipe. Your retailer should be able to support you with a stop tap test to investigate.

Use water efficient appliances

A short-term investment in more efficient appliances could save you a significant amount of water.

  • Dishwashers can reduce water usage versus washing dishes by hand - many models can run in quick wash and low water mode. Make sure they are full up before you switch on!
  • Using motion sensor taps prevents taps being left on, which will save thousands of litres over time.
  • Consider updating toilets with lower volume flush options. Or, for just a few pounds you can install a cistern displacement product that can save up to three litres per flush, versus the standard nine litres.

Measure your water use

Measure how much water you use on a regular basis. You can check manually or electronically using a device such as a smart meter. Monitoring your consumption will help you identify or predict periods of high usage so you can take steps to use water more efficiently.

By Rachel H.    |    9 May 2019