Last March and April, seven UK water companies initiated housepipe bans, with the final four not lifting their bans until the summer.
Millions of domestic customers in the UK were affected by these restrictions on water use.
Water companies advised consumers to exercise wise use of water in order to prevent shortages.
Conserving water has the added benefits of preserving a vital environmental resource and saving money on water charges.
Take a drought prevention approach every day to reduce water use charges throughout the year.
Reasons To Conserve Water
Water is considered a precious resource and is not available in unlimited supply. Water use, particularly the use of hot water, consumes energy and increases greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate changes.
The average resident of Wales and England uses 150 litres of water each day, mostly for washing and flushing the toilet. We use nearly 50 percent more water than we did just 25 years ago, partially due to household appliances and power-style showers. The Environment Agency estimates that the demand for water could increase by 800 million litres each day by 2020.
Home water use contributes approximately 35 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. With the average family using 500 litres of water daily, each of these households contributes 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.
The English governmental water strategy, called Future Water, calls for the average Brit to reduce water use by between 20 and 130 litres each day. By reducing their water consumption, residents reduce their use of fossil fuels, ensure a secure supply of life-essential energy, manage climate change risks, and lower their water bills.
Begin In The Kitchen
The kitchen is a major source of water use so give it some attention. Turn off taps completely when not in use and if they drip, change their washers. A single dripping tap can waste at least 5,500 litres of water each year.
When running the dishwasher, use the most efficient energy and water settings and fill the appliance to conserve water during use. Follow the same rules with the washing machine whether it is located in the kitchen or elsewhere.
When washing vegetables, place them in a bowl rather than cleaning them under running water. Put an aerator on the tap to reduce the amount of water used by approximately 50 percent. An aerated tap fills drops of water with air before dispensing, reducing the water content in each drop. Boil only as much water on the stove as is needed, using products that feature the Energy Saving Recommended logo.
Water-Saving Measures In The Bathroom
There are many opportunities for water conservation when using the bathroom. Turn off the taps when scrubbing hands, brushing teeth, and shaving. The Environment Agency reports that leaving the water running can waste as much as six litres of water every minute.
Equip the showerhead with an aerator and take showers instead of baths. A water-efficient showerhead can reduce water and gas bills by approximately £70 each year for a family of four. If each person in this family replaced one bath with a five-minute shower each week, the gas bill would be reduced by up to £18 each year and the water bill would decrease by as much as £21 annually.
If the home is not equipped with a dual flush cistern that includes a light flush option, install a Hippo or Save-a-Flush bag to reduce the amount of water washed away. An extreme water conservation method involves saving flushes for after only the most serious business.
Residents flush approximately one-third of the water they use down the toilet. Not flushing every time can drastically reduce water bills.
Reducing Outdoor Water Use
A watering can is less expensive and much more eco-friendly than a sprinkler. According to Anglian Water, sprinklers utilize as much water in a single hour as a four-person family uses within two days.
With a water butt, rainwater running off the roof can be captured and use to water the garden. Rainwater is actually better than tap water for watering plants because it is softer, reports the Energy Saving Trust. To minimize evaporation, water plants early in the morning or during the evening and spray water onto roots, not leaves.
Let grass grow longer so it can withstand dry periods. Do not fret if it becomes brown because a rainy period will turn it green again. Water from a water butt can be used to wash cars. Instead of using a garage jetwash or a hose, use a bucket and sponge. This conserves water and provides a workout in the process.
Water Companies Do Their Part
UK water companies want consumers to reduce their water consumption and they make this easier to do. Some offer free or discount priced water saving devices including everything from a kitchen swivel tap to a water butt.
By having a water meter installed, residents may be able to save money on their water bills. The meter measures the amount of water used in litres and charges only for the water consumed. Any UK water company will install a household water meter at no charge. During the year following installation, consumers can even revert to an unmetered charge if they wish.
Water companies may offer assessed charged billing to single individuals living in properties that do not support water meters. Basing the water bill on an assessed charge can save between £50 and £100 each year.
An online water energy calculator like the one available from the Energy Savings Trust helps consumers calculate their water usage, bills, and carbon savings that may result from making simple improvements in water efficiency.
Water Demand Management activities from the Environment Agency includes water conservation publications. Consumers can access this free information online and submit their related questions via email.
They can also read more about long-term solutions such as low-flush devices, rainwater harvesting, and water recycling. Water conservation benefits the environment, the community, and the household budget. Implement household water conservation practices today to begin saving tomorrow.