Water saving ideas and facts

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Water scarcity is a real problem in the UK, yet we are among the highest consumers of water in Europe. The good news is, there are many simple things you can do to save water.

What is your top water saving tip? Tell us on twitter #watersavingweek

Get tweeting and sharing your water saving ideas, post photos of your favourite type of water and tell us why you like saving water. For some ideas on how to save water check out our tips under each daily themes below.

Sustainable development

Drink tap water. One litre of bottled water can take up to 5 litres of water to produce it. Invest in a reusable bottle - UK tap water is amongst the best in the world. It's relatively cheap too - it costs about £1 per cubic meter. 

Meat free Friday/Monday-one hamburger requires 2400 litres water, having one meat free day is healthy and will save water around the world.

748m people in the world don’t have access to safe water. This is roughly one in ten of the world’s population. Water Aid efforts have reached over 200 people an hour with safe water.

Eat in Season - Seasonal food is produced in tune with the weather, help the global water crisis by seasonal eating. 

Cycle to work - It takes 38 litres of water to produce 1 litre of petrol. Avoid the car and enjoy the exercise!

Water and the environment 

Turn off your taps. A running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute this water is taken from your local rivers and aquifers. 

Save for a rainy day-It might seem like it rains all the time but the UK has less available water than many countries on the Med (its true!).

Food waste = water waste. Globally we use 200,000,000 litres a second to produce food. Cut your food waste to help conserve the earth’s water.

Save water, save our wetlands - Not only are wetlands beautiful places to visit they also provide a habitat for numerous species, act as a natural filter for our water and trap and store carbon. Every litre you save means a litre of water left in the environment.

Indoor water use

Turn off the tap! This could be when brushing your teeth, washing up, or washing vegetables. If the entire adult population of England and Wales remembered to turn off the tap when they were brushing their teeth, we could save 180 mega litres a day - enough to supply nearly 500,000 homes and fill 180 Olympic swimming pools! 

Fill up your washing machine and dishwasher. Ensuring a full load in dishwashers and washing machines makes sure the water is used wisely. If your dishwasher is efficient, using a full load can use less water than washing up under a running tap. If available, using an ‘eco’ setting on these appliances can also help to save water.

Free stuff! Ask your local water company if they have free water saving devices or services that can help you save water. You can often get devices such as shower timers, tap inserts, shower heads and a cistern displacement device for your toilet. See Your Water company to find out what yours offers.

The average UK family uses about half a tonne of water every day - thats the weight of a baby elephant! A lot of this water is heated too and water is 5 times harder to heat than granite so by being waterwise can help the environment an your pocket

Short, sharp, showers save water - A bath typically uses around 80 litres, while a short shower can use as little as a third of that amount. But beware since many power-showers may actually use more than a bath. Try taking shorter showers to reduce the amount of water you use. When you do have a bath, you can minimise your water use by reusing your bathwater to water your houseplants or garden.

Outdoor water use

Be green fingered. In the UK, the proportion of water used for gardening can approach 50% during the driest months. Most moisture is lost through the top 10cm of the soil in the first five days of hot weather. There are lots of ways you can save water in the garden; water storage crystals, choosing the right plants (many native British plants are drought tolerant), use of shade, mulch and natural drainage can all cut down the need for watering. 

Love your butt!  Over 21,000 litres a year falls on the roof of the average UK home, its easy to catch some of that in a water butt and your plants will love it too.

Wash your car with a bucket and sponge. Washing the car with a bucket and sponge is the most effective and efficient method. There are even new technologies which allow for waterless car washing. If you use pressure washer make sure yours can connect straight to your water butt.

Top up your pond with rainwater. It is actually OK to let the level of water in your wildlife pond drop, or even dry up completely, as this is what would happen in a natural pond and the wildlife and plants will adapt or move on. If you do top up your pond, then use rainwater collected in a water butt, tap water it rich in nutrients which can damage pond plants and wildlife and it is often the wrong pH for ponds. Using rainwater is best for your pond and saves precious drinking water.

Water and Money

Don't let your money leak away. One dripping tap can use at least 5,500 litres of water a year. Mending the tap washer could save you about £18 a year.

Cheaper on a meter? It is estimated that metered customers use 12 per cent less water on average as people tend to value what they pay for, so are less likely to waste water if they have a meter. Check if this could be true for you – use CCWater’s water meter calculator to find out

Claim free water saving devices. Many UK water companies give away free water saving devices that are easy to install at home. By claiming and fitting yours, you could save water and money. See what you could receive by going to your water company’s water efficiency page.

Saving water saves energy too. 1/4 of home energy bills are from heating water. You can save money by using less hot water.

Don’t lag behind - Lagging water pipes is quick and cheap. You can get a kit from your local DIY store. It will help stop bursts in cold weather, and save you time and money.

Water At work

Reuse scrap paper. It takes roughly 10 litres of water to produce 1 sheet of paper, save water by reusing scrap paper.

Water Technology List–Look at the Enhanced Capital Allowances for water saving kit when your business in buying new appliances. Water minimising controls, e.g. push taps, flow regulator/restrictors, cistern displacement devices, spray nozzles on hoses, low flush toilets and sensor urinal flushing controls can save significant amounts of water in the toilets, vehicle yard and canteen kitchen.

Take a close look. You can compare water use against last year, against the number of employees and against the floor area of your office or factory. Want further help on saving water at work, then ask your local water company with help on conducting a water audit.

Which button? Put up signs at work about which dual flush button to use, it could save 2 litres a flush and stop double flushing.

Down the drain - A leaky tap in the office toilets or canteen kitchen can waste 60 litres an hour, that's nearly half your daily usage. Ask your facilities management for a number to be put in the washrooms and toilets to report leaks or faulty equipment.

Have a lazy meeting - It takes over 4000 litres per person to produce the fuel to fly 100 miles and 38 litres of water are needed to refine 1 litre of petrol. Save money and water and try a video conference to avoid non essential traveling.

Water in your Community

Ask and thou shalt receive - A lot of organisations are trying to help people save water so check if your local council, local water company, bank, supermarket or energy provider has any water giveaways or discount vouchers 

Leak spotters - If you spot a leak in the street tell your water company, don’t assume they know as you might be the first person to see it.

Support Water Saving - Try and support local businesses who have made efforts to save water. It will encourage others to follow suit.

What’s your council doing? - Local councils have a statutory duty to promote water efficiency, what’s yours doing? 

Write-on saving - Write an article for your local newspaper or work newsletter to tell people how you have saved water and money.