This summer, water is on everyone’s mind. We had the driest July on record and the hottest temperatures ever recorded since 1935.
Combining this with longer-term problems caused by lower-than-average rainfall around London for the majority of the last 12 months we find ourselves with a Temporary Use Ban (Hosepipe Ban) in the South East for the foreseeable future.
So, how can we do our bit and change our habits to not only use less water now but also save it for the future too?
Saving Water In the Bathroom
Close to three-quarters of our water use is in the bathroom from the toilet, shower, bath and taps so it makes sense to look at efficiencies that can be made there first. Having a shower instead of a bath saves not just water but on energy bills too as less heating is needed.
Keeping showers to four minutes could save over £130 a year on energy and water bills combined for an average household! Changing your shower head to a newer efficient one could add additional savings onto this.
Turning off the tap when it doesn’t need to be running saves five litres a minute and is the next biggest water drain in most households, so be mindful when brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving as it all adds up.
Could you turn shorter showers and water economy into a game for the family to get involved in?
Saving Water in the Kitchen
The kitchen tends to consume over a fifth of a household’s water through washing clothes and dishes, general cleaning and cooking.
Leaving taps running to rinse dishes or food, and washing machines use the majority of water so try to use a bowl to catch the runoff from the tap and reuse the wastewater to water your garden or plants.
Try putting a jug of water in the fridge so you have cold water ready whenever you want it too.
It often feels like washing machines are rarely still with a family over the summer, so ensure it’s filled up for each load to reduce your water use (and bills, especially if you wash at low temperatures). The same is true for dishwashers. Washing a full load of dishes in the machine rather than sink can be more energy and water efficient (and saves you time to spend with those around you) so run your dishwasher when it’s full and on an eco-setting to save on both water and energy.
Saving Water in the Garden
If you love growing things, there are lots of ways to save on water throughout the summer. Protect your plants from the heat, mulching, and watering in the morning can all easily be incorporated. If you have space, a water butt can collect rainwater to be used when needed or reuse your bath water or paddling pool water to water your plants with a watering can rather than a hose. Waters Worth Saving has lots more information about these tips on their website.
To find out more about the current water restrictions and water-saving tips, Thames Water has lots more information on their website including a Water Saving Calculator to highlight the main areas you could save according to your personal usage.
If you’d like to get the kids on board with saving water BBC Bitesize and Newsround have some great articles and videos in an easy-to-understand format.