Reduce your water usage and save money!
Update 12 August: A drought has been officially declared across the whole of South Eastern England, including London. Residents have been urged to be mindful of the pressure on resources and told they should use water wisely.
As a result of the UK having experienced one of its driest summers on record, particularly in the south of England, Thames Water has announced that it will be bringing in a hosepipe ban — officially called a temporary use ban — in the coming weeks that will impact 15 million customers throughout London and the southeast of England.
There has been less than 10% of the usual rainfall recorded across much of the south-east of England which has dramatically reduced water in waterways and reservoirs.
Under the restrictions, some of which could last until October, people will be banned from using hose pipes to water their gardens, fill swimming or paddling pools, or wash their cars.
Climate change means we will see drought and high temperatures more frequently, so longer-term we must all play our part to help, by reducing the amount of water we use, to ensure it does not run out. With the current cost of living crisis in mind, one positive aspect is that by reducing your water usage, you will also save money.
Top tips for saving water:
- Instead of waiting for the hose pipe ban to be introduced, you can start saving water straight away by swapping your hose pipe or sprinkler for a watering can. A sprinkler can use as much water in half an hour as the average family of four uses in a whole day. Using a watering can in your garden could save up to 4,050 litres a year, while keeping your plants happy. That’s equivalent to more than 50 full bathtubs.
- Don’t water when the sun’s out. Avoid watering plants when the sun’s out and temperatures are high to help minimise the amount of water evaporating. Water early in the morning if you can as evening watering encourages the slugs and snails to come out at night.
- Take shorter showers. On average, a shower uses around 10 litres of water a minute. That means a 10-minute shower can use 100 litres of water. If a family of four reduced their shower time by just one minute, they could save up to £45 on metered water bills and a further £52 on energy bills every year.
- Turn off the taps. Try not to keep it flowing when you’re doing the washing up or brushing your teeth. A running tap can use six litres of water a minute. Turning off taps when not in use is a really simple way to save water at home. By turning off the tap just five seconds sooner, you’ll save half a litre.
- Fix leaky loos and dripping taps. Leaky loos are usually caused by a faulty flush valve or fill valve inside your cistern tank. A leaky loo can waste an average of around 400 litres of water a day. That's equal to five full bathtubs or around £350 a year.
- Go the full load. Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher or washing machine. This will not only save on the amount of water you use, but it’ll lower your energy use – helping you reduce your bills.
Households can use Thames Water's free water saving calculator (external link) to work out how much water and energy they are using and receive tailored advice on how to save.
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