Turn off the taps
Instead of letting water and money go down the drain, here are some ways to cut down on wastage:
- save the cold water that comes through before a tap runs hot and use it to water plants
- keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of waiting for the tap to run cold
- turn off the taps when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving
- wash fruit and vegetables in a washing up bowl full of water instead of under a running tap
Another way to reduce your water use is to fit aerator or spray ends to sink taps. An aerator mixes air with water and can reduce water consumption by up to 50%.
Fix dripping taps and leaks
A dripping tap can waste up to 15 litres of water a day. Water leaks mean you are paying for water you haven't used. They can also cause a lot of damage to your property or possibly to neighbouring properties.
Flush less water down the toilet
Toilet flushing accounts for about a third of household water usage. You probably flush away as much water in a day as you drink in a whole month. There are easy ways to reduce this:
- install a water displacement device (or hippo) in the cistern of a higher flush toilet. These reduce the amount of water used for each flush
- when buying a new toilet choose a water saving, low-flush or dual-flush version
- throw sanitary products and other waste in the bin, not the toilet
Take shorter showers
A quick shower can use much less water than a bath. However, not all showers are water efficient. High volume power showers can use more water than a bath in less than 5 minutes.
To save water, you could use a shower timer to reduce your time in the shower. 1 minute off your shower time, for a family of 4, would save 12,000 litres of water a year.
You can also fit a water flow regulator to your shower head. This can reduce the amount of water you use by 30% without reducing the performance of your shower.
Water efficient appliances
The amount of water consumed by dishwashers and washing machines varies greatly. All new dishwashers and washing machines have a European (EU) energy label, which tells you how efficient the appliance is at using water and energy. A is most efficient and G is least efficient, so choosing carefully can save you money, water and energy. You could also:
- look for a washing machine that uses less than 50 litres per wash
- look for a dishwasher that uses less than 15 litres per wash
- try to use your appliances only when full - half load cycles use much more than half the energy and water of a full load
In the garden
A garden hose can use more water in an hour than a family of 4 uses in a day. Some simple ways of saving water in the garden include:
- using a watering can rather than a hose
- buying a water butt to collect rain water (you’ll save mains water and the energy used to treat it)