Water covers 70% of the Earth, but only 3% of it is clean and suitable for human consumption. Even if you live in an area with ample rainfall, using water requires energy to process, pump, heat, re-pump, and reprocess it. Fortunately, there are ways to save water for everyone, from certified germaphobes to compost-toilet-level conservationists. The average family of four uses 450 litres of water a day, which is 164,000 litres a year.
Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth– this can save 6 litres of water per minute.
- Place a cistern displacement device in your toilet cisternto reduce the volume of water used in each flush. You can get one of these from your water provider.
- Take a shorter shower. Shower can use anything between 6 and 45 litres per minute.
- Always use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher– this cuts out unnecessary washes in between.
- Fix a dripping tap. A dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day, or 5,500 litres of water a year.
- Install a water butt to your drainpipe and use the water collected to water your plants, clean your car and wash your windows.
- Water your garden with a watering can rather than a hosepipe. A hosepipe uses 1,000 litres of water an hour. Mulching your plants (with bark chippings, heavy compost or straw) and watering in the early morning and late afternoon will reduce evaporation and also save water.
- Fill a jug with tap water and place this in your fridge. This will mean you do not have to leave the cold tap running for the water to run cold before you fill your glass.
- Install a water meter. When you’re paying your utility provider for exactly how much water you use, laid out in an itemised bill, there’s an incentive to waste less of the stuff.
- Invest in water-efficient goods when you need to replace household products. You can now buy water-efficient showerheads, taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and many other water-saving products.