During January, we set out to learn more about the importance of saving water. We all know that we probably should be doing more, but in a country known for it's wet weather, it can be hard to understand why.
So we asked our friends over at Waterwise to explain why the UK is often in drought, what the impact is and what we can all do to make a difference.
Here are some of the things we learnt and wanted to share with you. And if you think your business or household needs a friendly reminder to save water, you can download and print our colourful, water saving posters here >
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.
A recent study showed that nearly half of Brits believe their entire household only uses 20 litres of water a day. But in fact, the average person in the UK uses 142 litres each! So a family of four could be using around 500 litres every day. That's a lot of water.
That 142 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!
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.
One cotton t-shirt has about 2,700 litres of water embedded in its production, which is 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.
Spotted a dripping tap? This could be wasting around 5,500 litres of water a year.
Don’t ignore it - it might just need the washer replacing.
Saving water is just as important as saving energy - and in fact the two are inextricably linked. It's an energy intensive process to clean and pump water to every home across the country - so by reducing your water consumption, you are also helping to reduce energy consumption as well.
One of the things we will proactively be doing at our head offices here, is installing a set of water butts to collect the rain water from our guttering. We'll be planting some wildlife friendly plants in our little decking area during the spring - and they are going to need water! So we'd rather use free, fresh rainwater than put further pressure on our rivers and water bodies. #learnonething
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 >