As the hosepipe ban comes into force, the Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience forum have been working with the Environment Agency to find simple ways to reduce water consumption.
Saving water in the kitchen:
- Wash vegetables and fruit in a bowl rather than under a running tap, then use the leftover water for watering house plants.
- When you boil water in saucepans and kettles, use the minimum amount of water – that way, you’ll save energy as well as water.
- Try keeping a bottle or jug of water in the fridge instead of running taps until the water runs cold.
- Wait until you have a full load before switching on the dishwater or washing machine. Using a ‘half-load’ programmes use half the water and energy of a full load.
Saving water in the bathroom
- Don’t leave the tap running while you wash your hands, shave or brush your teeth. This can waste up to six litres of water per minute.
- Showers use about nine litres of water per minute. A five minute shower uses about a third of the water of a bath. But power showers can use more water than a bath in less than five minutes. Taking a quicker shower could give an extra few minutes in bed or you could leave for work a bit earlier and miss the traffic.
- Old toilet cisterns can use as much as nine litres of clean water every flush. Reduce this by placing a ‘save-a-flush’ or ‘hippo’ in the cistern. These are often available free of charge from Anglian Water company.
Saving water in the garden
- Water your garden in the cool of the early morning or evening. This will reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.
- If you water plants and shrubs too often their roots will remain shallow,weakening the plant. Leave them alone until they show signs of wilting.
- Collect rainwater in water-butts and use a watering can
- Regularly weed and hoe your garden, to ensure that watering helps plants and not weeds.
- Plant flowers and shrubs that thrive in hot and dry conditions such as thyme, evening primrose, rock rose, Californian poppy, pinks, lavender, buddleia and hebes.
- Mulches such as wood chips, bark and gravel help to prevent water evaporation and suppress weed growth, saving water/ time spent weeding.
- Lawns survive long periods of dry weather if the grass is not cut too short. Even if the grass turns brown, it will quickly recover after a few days of rain.
Saving water generally
- Dripping taps can waste up to 15 litres of water a day. Replace worn tap washers for a quick and cheap way of saving water.
- Burst water pipes can cause serious damage as well as waste water. Ensure your water pipes and external taps are lagged in time for the cold winter months.