Water in the home
We take water for granted in the UK. When we turn a tap on we just expect it to be there. Water is essential for us to live and we need to start thinking about how we use it and how we can save water. We need to start saving water to ensure we safeguard it for our future and children’s future.
The amount of water we use each day has increased significantly over the past 200 or so years. In the 1800s one person in the UK would have managed with 18 litres a day. By 1930 the amount this had risen to 126 litres.
We are using more and more water in the home. This is a result of more people having appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. Each person in England and Wales now uses an average of between 135 and 150 litres of water every day.
Water is used for so many things. We don’t just use water for drinking. We wash in it, clean with it, and use it to produce everything from clothing to food. Fresh water supplies are being used faster than ever for food production, growing crops and feed for livestock.
Why do we need to save water?
In the latest report from the UK Environment Agency – The State of the Environment: Water Resources it says that climate change and demand from a growing population are the biggest pressures on the availability of water. Without action to increase supply, reduce demand and cut down on wastage, many areas in England could see significant supply deficits by 2050 – particularly in the south east.
The report highlights unsustainable levels of water abstraction (taking water out of the ground), leakage from water companies – currently estimated at 3 billion litres per day – and demand from industry and the public as three of the issues to tackle in order to protect the water environment.
So, what can we do as “the public” to help save water.
We can all do our bit to help save water and by doing so we could also save money. In the UK each household uses on average around 330 litres each day. Heating water for showers, baths and hot water from the tap can add up to on average about £80 a year.
What Can we do to save water?
So, what can we do as “the public” to help save water?
If we all make a few small changes to save water it will all add up and make a big difference. And, don’t forget by doing so we could also save money. In the UK each household uses on average around 330 litres each day. Heating water for showers, baths and hot water from the tap can add up to on average about £80 a year.
Have a look below and you’ll find 10 ways to help save water.
10 Ways to Save Water
Turn off your taps and save water. If you leave the tap running when you’re brushing your teeth that can use up to 6 litres of water in a minute.
A power shower can use up to 17 litres of water a minute, keep it short.
A good option for saving water is to use a showerhead with an eco-setting. This means you can choose when to put it into water-saving mode. You may opt for the eco-setting when you’re having a quick shower but select normal mode when you’re washing your hair.
Get a low-flush toilet
How many times a day do you flush the loo? The average UK household flushes the loo 5,000 times per year. Just in one day the amount of water you flush away is probably more than you drink in a month.
Old style loos use around 13 litres of water per flush. If you’ve got a modern dual-flush loo they use a lot less, just 6 litres – or 4 with a reduced flush.
If you have an old-style loo but can’t invest in a new one, get a water-saving bag for your old-style toilet.
Save water washing up
It is so much better to fill up your dishwasher completely each time you run it, you’ll use less water than you would doing the washing up.
If there aren’t many of you in the family think about getting a smaller capacity dishwasher or you may end up running out of cups and plates waiting for them to be washed!
Save up that pile of washing. Washing a full machine load of clothes uses less water and energy than 2 half-loads. You’ll save money as well as you’ll be using less energy.
Steam your food to cut water usage and retain more of the natural nutrients.
If you do boil, try using the leftover water as a tasty stock for soups but I would only do this with organic root vegetables, otherwise let it cool and use it to water plants.
If you must water the plants in your garden, then do it in the early morning or at the end of the day. This stops water immediately evaporating in sunlight and heat.
Water onto the soil rather than leaves so that the liquid goes straight to the roots, where it’s needed and mulch. Up to 70% of water can evaporate from the soil on a hot day so adding a layer of mulch really helps stop the moisture escaping.
Choose your pots carefully, clay ones are porous and will lose moisture, choose a glazed pot that will retain moisture. You can also add some water retaining crystals to your potting mixture.
Make use of all that rain we have and install a water butt. It can save up to 5,000 litres of water a year. You can use it to water your plants, indoors and out.
What will you do to save water?
If we all do a little bit it will save a lot. Why not think about how you can start saving water today?