Each Haringey resident uses about 150 litres of water every day, that's two bath tubs full, doing things like washing, cooking and cleaning.
A third of this water goes straight down the plug hole - often from simple things like dripping taps and leaving water running while brushing your teeth. Wasting hot water has an ever bigger impact on the environment as hot water requires energy to heat.
You can make a difference by being more water aware in your home and garden. There are lots of ways you can save water:
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. A running tap wastes over 6 litres of water per minute. If every adult in England and Wales remembered to do this, we could save enough water to supply 500,000 homes
- Drop a hippo in your cistern: About a quarter of all the clean, drinkable water we use in our homes is flushed down a toilet. Putting a hippo or other water displacement device into the toilet cistern could save 2.5 litres with every flush. For a free water-saving device contact Thames Water (external link)
- Stop drips: A dripping tap wastes at least 5,500 litres of water a year - enough to fill a paddling pool every week for the whole summer!
- Fill up your dishwasher: Hand-washing dishes typically uses 63 litres of water. If those dishes are rinsed-off under a running tap total water use averages 150 litres. In comparison, a modern dishwasher uses as little as 15 litres of water per cycle, but always make sure you fill the dishwasher before putting it on. If you are buying a new dishwasher, take a look at the Waterwise website - save water (external link) to help you choose the most water efficient model
- Bathers beware: A bath typically uses around 80 litres while a short shower can use as little as 20 litres. But beware - many 'power-showers' use more water than a bath. You can minimise your water use by reusing bathwater to water your houseplants or garden
- Short showers save water: By using a shower timer you can increase your awareness of the amount of time you spend in the shower. Try taking shorter showers to reduce the amount of water you use
- Water-wise washing: Always wait for a full load before starting your washing machine. A full load uses less water than two half loads so you'll save money on energy and water. If you are buying a new washing machine, Waterwise can help you to make your choice - on the Waterwise website (external link) you will find a ranking of washing machines by water efficiency
- Cool water: Fill a jug with tap water and leave it to cool in your fridge. This way you don't have to run the tap for ages to get a cold drink
- Prepare for burst pipes: Find out where your main stop valve is and make sure that you can turn it on and off. If ever a pipe bursts, you will know how to cut off the flow, which will save water and help to reduce water damage in your home For more advice about protecting pipes from freezing in cold weather visit the Affinity Water website (external link)
- Sparkling asparagus: By washing your fruit and vegetables in a bowl rather than under a running tap you can cut down on water waste effortlessly, and the leftover water can be used to feed your houseplants
- Put rubbish in the bin: Avoid flushing away cotton balls, make-up tissues and other items - throwing them in the bin instead will cut down on the amount of water wasted by every flush
- Be sprinkler smart: We all love our gardens, but sprinklers can use as much as 1,000 litres of water per hour, which is more than a family of four normally use in a whole day. Using your sprinkler early in the morning or late in the evening will mean less water will evaporate from your garden and more will get to the roots where you actually want it to go.
Sprinklers use as much as 1,000 litres of water per hour - more than a family of four normally use in a whole day!
- You can with a watering can: Your hosepipe can use as much as 18 litres of water a minute. By using a watering can in your garden you can significantly reduce the amount of water wasted. Alternatively, consider fitting your hose with a trigger gun to control the flow
- Invest in a butt: Your roof collects about 85,000 litres of rain each year, most of which runs straight into the sewers. However, you could use this free water on your garden, houseplants, and to wash your car.
- The bucket and sponge approach: Rather than washing your car with a running hosepipe try using a bucket and sponge. Just 30 minutes with a hosepipe will use more water than the average family uses in a day!
- Magnificent mulch: Mulches such as pebbles, gravel, cocoa shell, chipped bark and grass clippings are one of the best things you can do for your garden. Mulching will not only mean your plants need watering less often, it will keep away water-loving weeds, keep the soil cool and improve soil quality
- Soak, don't sprinkle: Giving the roots of your plants a good soaking once or twice a week in dry weather is much better than lightly watering them every day, because most of that water just evaporates away. Remember though that new plantlings do need regular watering until they are established
The table below show common ways you can re-use water your home and garden.
Pond fill / Top-up
|Washing Machine Water||yes*|
|Rainwater Ground Catchment||yes||yes|
|Rainwater Roof Catchment||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
* washing machine water should not be used on food plants.
Source:Institution of Water and Environmental Management