Water Efficiency Database

Welcome to our resources search page. Please use the drop down menu to find recent Waterwise research and reports. This website also hosts the Water Efficiency Evidence Database, which is a repository of key research reports and paid for by UK water companies to support research and innovation.


Search Resources

Is the Five Minute Shower an Urban Myth? (2010)

This report by ech2o analyses data on shower use at home, at school and in the office. The data was collected between 2008 and 2009 across the whole range of different cultures and economic classes found in the UK today. About 85% of the respondents lived in London, with the rest from various other parts of England and Wales. This data about showers were taken from a survey of 649 people across 167 households. The survey participants showered on average 13 minutes. 64 % showered once a day while 13.5% took a bath or shower twice a day.

For the full article click here.

Harvesting Rainwater for Domestic Uses: An Information Guide (2010)

This publication carried out by the Environment Agency examines rainwater harvesting systems for non-potable domestic uses in houses and gardens. This guidance is for homeowners, house builders, planners, plumbers, architects and building managers. It contains information on the benefits of rainwater harvesting systems, their design, installation, maintenance requirements and cost. It also contains examples of systems that have been installed and are in use. Many of the concepts discussed can also be applied to industrial and commercial premises.

For the full article click here.

Energy and Carbon Implications of Rainwater Harvesting and Greywater Recycling (2010)

This report by the Environment Agency presents the findings of a study that examined the energy and carbon implications of rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling systems for non-potable use. It quantifies lifetime carbon footprints of rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling systems and the contribution to reducing CO2 emissions associated with mains water demand and foul water volumes. The study showed that buildings using harvested rainwater or treated greywater typically increase CO2 emissions. Apart from one system, operational energy and carbon intensities of the systems studied were higher than for mains water.

For the full article click here.

Thames Water Awareness Work with Schools

The Thames Water Schools Water Makeover trial encompassed different behavioural change and awareness raising measures to enhance water efficiency efforts. 33 “Be Water Aware” assemblies were delivered to 7,446 pupils and 264 teachers across 32 schools in London. 21 School Water Audits with 557 pupils, various water awareness workshops were held and 2539 pupils in 31 schools learnt how to fit a save-a-flush bag. Water savings of the entire project were assumed to total 54,024m3.

For the full article click here.

UpStream: Motivating Water Conservation with low-cost water flow sensing and persuasive displays (2010)

This study explores unobtrusive low-cost water flow sensing and several persuasive displays as an approach for promoting water conservation in public and private spaces. Early prototypes were installed at public faucets and a private (shared) shower, logging water usage first without and then with ambient displays. Our long-term deployment of the ambient water visualization was able to effectively motivate water reduction in private homes for all participants. Moreover, our displays have led participants to reflect on their behaviour and reconsider sustainability and environmental issues beyond water usage and showing.

For the full article click here.

Ipswich Water Efficiency Trial Project (2010)

This report summarises the project and presents the findings from Anglian Water’s Ipswich Water Efficiency trial. Householders were offered a free water audit together with the supply and fitting of free water saving devices as appropriate to their houses. Water-saving devices were installed in 552 properties and behaviour change measures were applied in another 47 properties. Households reduced water consumption by 41.5 litres/property/day, equating to 14.2% of their total demand. These were largely achieved through retrofitting toilets with a dual flush device and using shower flow regulators or replacement showerheads.

For the full article click here.

Water Efficient Shower Head Offer – Project Report

The aim of this study by United Utilities was to assess the uptake rate of a free water-efficient showerhead offer, customer’s experience using the product, resultant carbon and water savings, and associated costs. After inviting 2,000 metered customers, 155 received showerheads and 118 returned experience questionnaires. Savings of 39.5 litres per household per day were attained. Costs were £29.90 per showerhead distributed, and it is estimated that rolling the offer out on a wider scale would cost £22.71 per unit.

For the full article click here.

Reducing Water Wastage in the UK_Annual Report 2008-2009

Annual report on the activities of Waterwise and our partners, supporters and stakeholders

For the full article click here.

Preston Water Efficiency Initiative (2009)

This report evaluates the outcomes of the Preston Water Efficiency Initiative, an innovative water demand-management project carried out in Preston, Surrey. Its aim was to reduce domestic water consumption in social housing and to provide recommendations for future retrofitting programmes. 160 dwellings, a school, and a leisure centre were fitted water-efficient devices. 205 water-efficient devices were retrofitted, while a pilot rainwater harvesting system was installed in twelve flats. This was combined with a promotional and awareness building campaign. According to the report, significant water savings were achieved through installing water-saving devices, such as 14 % through retrofit devices and 25 % through dual flush toilets and showers.

For the full article click here.

The Water and Energy Implications of Bathing and Showering Behaviours and Technologies (2009)

The purpose of this review carried out by Waterwise is to identify gaps in knowledge and understanding of personal washing, focussing on showering and bathing in particular because of their high contribution to per capita water consumption. The study seeks to inform and improve demand management programmes, regulation and policy decisions in managing demand. The review utilises published materials from various literature sources. Gaps in knowledge exist regarding basic aspects such as the frequency and duration of showers and bath use; determination of appropriate weightings for shower performance variables; and messaging to effectively market bathroom appliances.

For the full article click here.
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