Why Save Water

Water is a precious resource, and is likely to become more so in the future. It is something we cannot live without. While it sometimes rains a lot, some parts of the country (such as the densely-populated south-east) are much drier than other regions so there is less water for consumers to use.

We also use far more water than previous generations, about 150 litres each every day. This is likely to keep going up. At the same time that we are using more water, climate change forecasts suggest that some parts of England and Wales will experience warmer winters and drier summers. This will mean that there is less water to use.

Because water is precious, it is everyone’s responsibility to use water wisely. Both consumers and the water companies have an important part to play in this.

Source: www.ofwat.gov.uk/sustainability

How can I save water?

There are many ways that you can save water around your home. You may find the following tips helpful.

1. Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables of dishes. You can then use the waste water to water your plants.

2. Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink.

3. Turn off the tap when you clean your teeth. A running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.

4. Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or your dishwasher. Some new washing machines use less than seven litres of water for each kilogramme of clothes, while modern dishwashers can us as little as 10 to 15 litres of water a cycle.

5. If possible, take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of water. This is about half the volume of a standard bath.

6. Use a water-saving device in your toilet cistern. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between one and three litres each time you flush the toilet.

7. Using a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.

8. Think about fitting a water butt to collect rainwater off your roof. Water butts usually store about 200 litres of water. As well as being better for watering your plants, using rainwater in the garden reduces the amount of treated water you use.

9. Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing.

If you have a water meter, all of these tips may help you to reduce your water and sewerage bills.

Even if you do not have a meter, using water wisely and cutting down on the amount of hot water you use will lower your gas and electricity bills. It will also reduce the amount of climate-changing greenhouse gases you release into the atmosphere.

Using less water will also help reduce the greenhouse gases that are released from collecting, treating and supplying clean water.

Source: www.ofwat.gov.uk

How Much Water Do You Use?


80 litres

5 minute shower

35 litres

5 minute power shower

90 litres

Brushing teeth with tap running

6 litres per min

Brushing teeth with tap off

1 litre

Single toilet flush

9 litres

Drinking, cooking etc.

25 litres

Washing machine

60 litres


40 litres

Washing car with a bucket

10 litres


540 litres per hour

Washing Clothes

Washing machines used to use as much water per wash as a person now uses in an entire day - up to 150 litres!

Advances in technology over the past 20 years, however, have succeeded in reducing the average water consumption to about 50 litres per wash - still quite a bit of water! Clothes washing now accounts for about 15 percent of the water that we use on our homes, so by reducing wastage in this area we can make significant water savings.

Washing machines vary tremendously in how much water they use per wash: when adjusted for capacity, some use as much as 20 litres per kilogram while others as little as 6 litres per kilogram! Therefore, when buying a new washing machine it is important to make sure that the model is water efficient.

With any model, total water consumption will depend on how you use the machine. In order to minimise water and energy waste, follow these quick tips:

1. When replacing your old washing machine, make sure to buy a water efficient model.

2. When using your washing machine, make sure to use a full load every time. Surveys have shown that a typical load of laundry is usually much less than the maximum capacity of the model, so make sure to stuff in a couple of shirts with your next load. If you need to do a wash but don't have a full load, use the half load feature on your machine.

3. Familiarise yourself with your washing machine's cycle options. Some settings provide the same cleaning power as a normal cycle, but with less water and energy. Check your user manual for water consumption information about the various cycles on your model, or contact the manufacturer.

4. Avoid pre-washing. Most modern washing machines and washing powders are so effective that you don't have to pre-rinse!

Source: www.waterwise.org.uk - Source: J. Clift & A. Cuthbert, Water use less - save more, (2006)

Toilet Flushing (at home)

Toilets use about 30% of the total water used in a household. An old style single flush toilet can use up to 13 litres of water in one flush.

New, more water-efficient dual-flush toilets use only six litres for a full flush and four litres with a reduced flush.

There are around 45 million toilets in UK homes, using an estimated two billion litres of fresh water every day. Over seven million of those toilets use 13 litres of water, and approximately five million are the latest low-flush models.

Water Efficient Toilets

Many toilets today feature a dual flush option to help you save water. These types of toilets have a split flush button giving the user the choice of pressing a small button or a large button depending on how much water is required to clear the toilet bowl. Look for dual flush toilets if you are considering purchasing a new toilet for your home.

Source: www.waterwise.org.uk