How you can help
Although recent years of wet weather seem to suggest that we should have no shortage of water, it is important to remember that the water we use at home has been through a complex and energy-intensive purification process before it comes out of our taps, so wasting it does have serious environmental consequences
Now that more and more houses have metered water supplies, you might also be pouring your money down the drain! Here are a few things you can do to reduce your water use:
- Check for drips: a dripping tap can waste up to 13 litres a day. Simply fit a new washer to solve the problem in most cases.
- Don't leave the tap running when you clean your teeth.
- Instead of filling the kettle to the top, only boil the amount of water that you need each time. This also saves energy with every cup of tea!
- Showers tend to use less water than baths, saving up to 50 litres every time. However, some ‘power showers’ can actually use more water because of the flow rate. You can solve this by attaching a low-flow showerhead, which won’t affect the performance of the shower.
- Try to water the garden early in the morning or at dusk, to reduce water loss through evaporation in the hotter part of the day. Buy a water butt for the garden to collect rain water that you can then use to water your plants.
- Choose drought-resistant plants that don't need so much watering, such as lavender, tulips, sunflowers or buddleia.
- Use a nappy washing service – they use 32% less energy and 41% less water than home washing.
- When cleaning your car, use buckets of water instead of the hose pipe.
- Flushing the toilet uses between six and nine litres of drinking-quality water every time. To reduce this, put a cistern displacement device in the toilet tank. These are available free of charge in many places, or alternatively you can simply fill a two-litre plastic bottle with water and put that in the cistern.
Cistern displacement devices: available free from Yorkshire Water| .
Water leaks: report it to Yorkshire Water by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0800 573553.
Nappy washing: CHANGE Reusable Nappy Laundering Service, tel: 01422847080.
The agency publishes comprehensive advice on water-saving measures in the home, including low-use and flow-reducing appliances.
Centre for Alternative Technology|
For advice on saving water in the garden, including drought-resistant planting.