Summer is here - time to conserve water

 Why does saving water matter?

The water industry is surprisingly energy intensive, using 2-3% of all the electricity purchased in the UK and is responsible for 0.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. (as of 2007).

Even though water doesn't appear in short supply in the UK, using less water actually means we:

  • Save money.
  • Protect drinking water resources, drinking water is a scarce resource in this world. Only 2.5 percent of the world's water is fresh.
  • Minimise water pollution and health risks.
  • Reduce the need for costly water supply and new wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Maintain the health of aquatic environments.
  • Save energy used to pump, heat, and treat water.

10 top tips for saving water

The average person in the UK uses 150 litres each day. Here's how to reduce that...

1.   Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth - this can save 6 litres of water per minute.

2.   Place a cistern displacement device in your toilet cistern to reduce the volume of water used in each flush. You can get one of these from your water provider.

3.   Take a shorter shower. Showers can use anything between 6 and 45 litres per minute. Consider getting an aerated shower head, which combines water and air, or inserting a regulator in your shower, which puts an upper limit on flow rates.

4.   Always use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher - this cuts out unnecessary washes in between.

5.   Fix a dripping tap. A dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day, or 5,500 litres of water a year.

6.   Install a water butt to your drainpipe and use it to water your plants, clean your car and wash your windows. A water butt can collect around 5,000 litres a year.

7.   Water your garden with a watering can rather than a hosepipe. A hosepipe can use as much as 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.

8.   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.

9.   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 get water-efficient showerheads, taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and many other water-saving products. For more information visit the Waterwise website. 

A Water Resilience Summit is to be held in Totnes on 12th September, hosted by the Westcountry Rivers Trust together with the South Devon Bioregional Learning Centre. If you have you become concerned by news of large-scale biodiversity loss, escalating climate change impacts and ecosystem failure, this will be an opportunity to meet experts for a day of learning and dialogue.

This is a public event and there is no charge to attend.