Why should we save water In the UK?

5 water facts and 5 tips to help you save more



We all know that we probably should be doing more to save water, but its hard to understand why. Especially when we feel like we’ve had a cold, wet spring and then a meteorological expert says that the UK has actually experienced the warmest, driest month on record. And then we begin wondering 'will there be a hose-pipe ban this summer?' As a result, it can be hard to get inspired to make the necessary changes to our own water usage habits.

So why should we save water in the UK? Knowing that water and energy are inextricably linked, we spent some time looking at the reasons why we should be thinking about how much water we are using.

5 surprising facts you might not know about water consumption

1. Around 18% of energy consumption in UK homes is spent heating water - that's not good for the planet or your pocket! The team over at Waterwise say that 12% of a typical gas heated home’s heating bill is from heating water for showers, baths and running the hot tap.

2. Did you know that our planet is 70% water? But only around 2.5% of that is fresh and drinkable. Unfortunately, most of that fresh water is trapped in glaciers! So, that leaves just 0.007% of the planet’s water available to fuel and feed 6.8 billion people.

3. Did you know, the average person in the UK uses 145 litres each! So, a family of four could be using over 500 litres every day. That's a lot of water.

4. That 145 litres comes mainly from showers, baths and toilet flushing. In 2015 the breakdown was 39% personal washing, 24% toilet flushing, 12% clothes washing, 10% dish washing and 4% external use. Our power showers have a lot to answer for!

5. One cotton t-shirt has about 2,700 litres of water embedded in its production., That’s around 34 baths full of water! We should really do our best to get the most out of our clothes - it really makes a difference.

5 tips to help you use less water in the garden

As we head into Summer, we all start to dream of lazy afternoons enjoying our lush, back gardens, doing a spot of gardening or dipping our feet in the paddling pool whilst sipping a cool drink. But the warmer it gets, the more tempting it is to use more…and more water.

Here are our top 5 tips on how to enjoy the summer sun without putting further pressure on our fresh water resource.

1. It's tempting to keep our lawns green during the summer but did you know that hoses and sprinklers typically use about 1000 litres of water an hour – that’s 12 baths full. Grass is very hardy and even if it goes brown, when it rains again (which it will do!) it will quickly go green.

2. Is your outside tap dripping after over exposure to the winter elements? This could be wasting around 5,500 litres of water a year. Don’t ignore it just because it’s not inside your home - it might just need the washer replacing.

3. Paddling pools are great fun but require a LOT of water. So, consider doing away with bathtime and using the water as an alternative way to clean the kids ready for bedtime. To stop the little bugs landing in it overnight, pop a fitted bed sheet over the top so you don’t need to keep replacing the water. And when you are eventually done with the pool – use it to fill up your watering can to water the plants.

4. Water your plants early in the morning or late in the evening. This will reduce evaporation (and you’ll need to water them less) and your plants will thank you for not scorching their leaves (sunshine on wet leaves can cause them to shrivel)

5. Collect rainwater! Why not consider buying a water butt to collect the free rainwater that the heavens so readily provide us with every year in the UK! If you haven’t got much space, there are slimline versions that collect enough water to regularly use on your plants.

If you want to find out more about how to save water then do take a look at the excellent work being carried out by Waterwise. Waterwise is an independent, not-for-profit UK NGO focused on reducing water consumption in the UK. Find out more here >

National Geographic