It’s easy to assume that Britain has more water than it knows what to do with, but we have less available water per person than most other European countries. In fact, South East England has less water available per person than the Sudan or Syria.
Reducing the amount of water we use in the home helps safeguard wildlife in rivers and wetlands, while at the same time reducing the energy required to treat and pump water. And as the population increases, it becomes increasingly important to build a defence against future drought years.
10 ways to use less water
- Install a water meter. After all, paying a flat rate for a seemingly endless supply of water is hardly conducive to using less. Furthermore, meters can provide water companies with a detailed picture of their supply network, enabling them to spot leaks more accurately and quickly.
- Take a holistic approach to save water.
- Take the time to fix dripping taps. A leaky tap can seem like little more than an inconvenience – another job on the never-ending DIY to-do list, but multiply your single drip by 27 million households and you can see that it becomes a drop in an ocean of wasted water.
- Don’t run the tap when you brush your teeth or shave.
- It’s also a good idea to install a low-flow shower head – as these can save many thousands of litres of water over the course of a year.
- When you replace any tap in your house, go for one fitted with an aerator – sometimes referred to as a ‘mousseur’ tap. This simple device is a fine metal gauze fitted inside the tap that allows air to mix with the water. The effect is to reduce water consumption with the added benefit of reducing splash back.
- If your loo isn’t equipped with a dual flush, invest in a water displacement device for the cistern.
- Curtail your time in the shower.
- Use less plastic. It takes 83 litres of water to produce only 454 grams of plastic.
- Consume less. According to Friends of the Earth, the production of a pair of leather shoes uses 13,700 litres of water and making a smartphone, 12,000 litres. And according to the Water Footprint Network, even a pair of jeans uses 8,000 litres – although all those figures pale in comparison to the water required in the production of a car which varies between 52,000 and 83,000 litres (Berger et al).
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