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Sustainable Water: How to play your part in saving our precious natural resource

Sustainability is an important matter in today’s environment, with the utility sector making big changes to tackle the impact of climate change. The water industry is no exception, and now you can help the industry to make more efficient use of our precious natural resource.

Did you know England’s average per capita consumption is 140 litres per person per day? By using water more efficiently, we can minimise the amount of additional water resources being taken from rivers which, in turn, will protect the wildlife that depends on these resources. Additionally, not only will you help to minimise the growing demand on our water resources by offsetting the need for new infrastructures and reducing pressure on existing ones, you will also significantly reduce your personal carbon footprint.

From the bathroom to the garden, this article will cover some key tips to help you play your part in saving water in your household.

Bathroom:

Taps – Remember not to leave the tap running when brushing your teeth and you will save approximately six litres per minute.

Toilets – 30% of total water used in the average household comes from toilet flushing. If you can, purchase a water efficient dual flush toilet. Dual flush toilets use approximately 4-6 litres of water – a significant difference to the 13 litres used by the conventional singular flush.

Baths – A single bath typically uses around 80 litres of water. Try running your bath by just an inch shorter and you could save on average five litres per bathing session.

Showers – Cut back on your shower length with a timer. If everyone used a shower timer we would save enough water to supply an estimated 1 million homes every day.

Kitchen:

Dishes – The kitchen tap and dishwasher account for roughly 8-14% of water used in your home. With dishwashers, try and use a full load every time and avoid pre-rinsing. With the sink, add a washing up bowl or plug into your sink to catch excess – this can reduce wastage by 50%.

Laundry – Make the most of your loads. Clothes washing accounts for around 15% of household water use, so squeeze all you can in there. If you’re shopping for a new washer, look for a model that uses less than 7.5 litres of water per kg.

Drinking Water –UK tap water is some of the best in the world, so we should all feel very fortunate and make the most of it. However, don’t wait for the tap to run cold as this can waste more than 10 litres of tap water per day. Simply bottle it up and put it in the fridge to cool.

Garden:

Grass – Don’t worry if your grass goes brown, you don’t need to water it. It will build up resistance and recover with rainfall. If you have sprinklers, try and use them around early morning/late afternoon when evaporation rates are lowest.

Plants – A great tip many people use is to water their gardens with bathwater, but remember to use it immediately and not on fruit/veg. You could also mix some drought-resistant bedding and perennial plants to add variety to your garden.

Garden Equipment – With the warmer months ahead, we can expect to see increased hosepipe usage. Why not try attaching a trigger nozzle on your hosepipe? This will halve the amount of water used and help direct the flow to the root of your plants.

By following these few steps you’ll not only protect the environment and support the water industry, but you will also see a positive reduction in your water bills. For example, did you know a simple efficient shower head could save you up to £120 per year?

Businesses should also look to take action in saving water. Investment in water recycling schemes is more viable in business settings than domestic settings and besides the obvious cost cuts, it could additionally help you to comply with current and future legislation, reduce your carbon footprint and generate positive PR in the process.

For businesses to save water, you should firstly look at educating your workforce on the importance and practices of water efficiency. You could furthermore install water saving devices into your office where applicable, such as waterless urinals and spray taps.

For further information on how to save water in your home, business or school, visit: www.waterwise.org.uk/save-water