Water conservation and efficiency

Water is one of the most precious natural resources on Earth so it is important to conserve it. You may be forgiven for thinking water in the UK is in plentiful supply but due to demand, water scarcity is a real problem. There is in fact less water per person in the UK than most European countries. The UK is also one of Europe’s largest consumers of water with the average person using 150 litres per day.

Water use has impacts on climate change and vice versa.  Energy required to treat water and pump it to where it is used, such as homes, businesses and hospitals, accounts for 2% of the UK’s carbon emissions.  Climate change will likely result in erratic weather patterns with the possibility of floods but also droughts.

Below are a few tips on how to save water:

  • Do not leave the tap running when brushing your teeth, rinsing dishes or peeling vegetables.  When peeling vegetables wash them in a bowl of water and when finished, use that water to water the plants.
  • When requiring water to drink, rather than running taps until the water is cold enough, fill up bottles and refrigerate them.
  • Replace worn washers on leaky taps.  A dripping tap in your home wastes over 5,000 litres of water per year.
  • Fit aerators to taps to reduce water flow.
  • Ensure a full load when using the washing machine and dishwasher.  This will save both water and electricity.
  • Water your garden early in the morning or in the evening.  These times are cooler meaning less water is lost due to evaporation.
  • Use a ‘water butt’ to collect rain water from gutters for watering plants.  Using a watering can rather than a hose will also save water.
  • Get a dual flush toilet or place a water saving device or even just a brick in the cistern.

Take daily showers instead of baths and avoid long showers of greater than 15 minutes.  Consider installing a water saving shower head which can save 30% of water per shower.

Page last updated: 27 May 2015