How to Reduce Water Consumption in UK Households
We depend on water for our society to function; our homes, the food we eat and clothes we wear all require a large amount of water to run and produce. Because we’re so used to having easy access to water from the taps in our homes, many of us take it for granted. However, what people often don’t realise is that water is a finite resource, and one day it could run out. As the population gets bigger, rising demand and polluted water supplies becomes a more serious issue and it’s about time we took action.
In this article, we’ve looked at our current water usage in the UK, how this compares to other OECD countries and also looked at some ways that we can cut down our water usage too.
How Much Water Do UK Households Use?
Running a home requires a lot of water; the majority of us use a range of appliances every day that need water to work. Using appliances in our homes throughout the day quickly adds up however; the average person uses 142 litres of water around the house per day.
How Much Water Do We Use in the Bathroom?
How Much Water Do We Use in the Kitchen?
How Does Our Water Consumption in the UK Compare to the Rest of the World?
Why Reducing Our Water Usage is Important
Because we can access water so easily in our homes, many of us have started to take it for granted. Every single day more than three billion litres of perfectly good drinking water is wasted in the UK. That’s enough water to make 15 billion cups of tea, or to hydrate the entire population of Africa. It’s estimated that the average American uses about 575 litres of water a day, while the average European uses around 250 litres of water. In comparison, people in developing countries have about 19 litres to use every day – assuming they have anything at all.
As our population is increasing, the size of our water supply isn’t. The United Nations has already warned us that five billion people could be affected by water shortages by 2050 because of increased demand and polluted supplies. Climate change will put an added stress on supplies because it will make wet regions wetter and dry regions drier. Weather changes and climate change makes all countries vulnerable to water shortages, not just the poorer parts of the world. To try and contain the effects of water shortages as much as possible, it’s crucial that our attitude towards water consumption changes.
To try and contain the effects of water shortages as much as possible, it’s crucial that our attitude towards water consumption changes. It’s estimated that the average American uses about 575 litres of water a day, while the average European uses around 250 litres of water. In comparison, people in developing countries have about 19 litres to use every day – assuming they have anything at all.
How to Reduce Water Consumption Around the House
Make sure to regularly check around your home for leaks and promptly fix any leaks that you do find. The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, which is a huge amount!
Capture water that goes through colanders and keep unfinished cups of water to use in the garden. The average house roof in the UK collects enough rainwater in a year to fill around 450 water butts, which is water that can be used for cleaning your car or watering your plants.
Rethink the size of your dishwasher
Try not to run your dishwasher when it’s only half full as this wastes a lot of water. If you find you’re running half loads often, consider downsizing your dishwasher to a smaller model.
Have showers instead of baths
It takes over double the amount of water to run a bath than take a shower. Try and limit the number of baths that you take and have a shower instead.
Time your showers
The average person spends around 8 minutes in the shower. For maximum conservation, it’s recommended that you spend 5 minutes on average in the shower. To try and achieve this, use a timer whilst in the shower to ensure the time doesn’t slip away without your realising.
Get a water saving shower head
Whilst a standard shower head will use around 12-22 litres of water per minute whilst running. A water saving shower head runs at a lower flow than a regular shower head and in doing so, can save more than 26 litres of water for an average 7 minute shower.
Wash your clothes on a shorter cycle
Washing machines are one of the home appliances that use the most water. You can reduce the amount of water wasted by your washing machine by running your clothes washes on short cycles and limiting the number of washes you do each week.
Water your garden by hand
On average, using a sprinkler from a standard garden hose for one hour uses about 1,020 gallons of water. Hand watering your plants and lawn will massively cut down the amount of water you’re using in the garden.
Regularly check your water meter
A water meter is a device that measures the amount of water you’re using in your home. Regularly checking your water meter is a great way to ensure you’re not overusing without realising.
hunterwater.com.au, health24.com, ccwater.org.uk, theguardian.com