Explainer

How to save water at home as concerns of a UK drought grow

There are many ways of conserving water, from turning off the tap when you brush your teeth to limiting how long you spend in the shower. Credit: PA

People are being urged to conserve water as the UK experiences some of the driest conditions since the 1970s.

Hosepipe bans have been announced in a number of local authority areas across England and Wales, including in Pembrokeshire - which Welsh Water has warned is approaching drought levels.

So what can we all be doing to save water?

1. Take a shower instead of a bath: Welsh Water says that if you can reduce your shower from ten minutes to four, you can save around 15,000 litres a year, which can save about £45.00 on your bills - if you have a water meter.

2. Fit a water efficient shower head: An energy saving shower head can save around 10,000 litres of water a year compared to a standard shower head.

3. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth: Leaving the tap on whilst you brush your teeth can use around 6,000 litres of water a year. If you're a parent, encourage your children to turn it off too.

4. 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.

Taking a shower instead of a bath is a great way to save on water. Credit: PA

5. Make sure your washing machine and dishwasher is full: Wait until you have a full load before washing clothes and turning on the dishwasher. Some new washing machines use less than seven litres of water for each kilogram of clothes, while modern dishwashers can us as little as 10 to 15 litres of water a cycle. Also use the eco setting.

6. Use a bowl of water to wash fruit and vegetables rather than the tap: Then you can use the waste water on plants in the garden.

7. Only fill the kettle with the water you need: Overfilling the kettle wastes both electricity and the unused water.

8. Use a watering can in the garden: Garden sprinklers and hosepipes when left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.

9. Use a water butt to collect rainwater from your roof: They usually store around 200 litres and the rainwater is better for your plants.

10. Check your property for leaks: Fix any leaking taps to avoid wasted water. A dripping tap can waste over 7,000 litres a year. Welsh Water says this could cost you around £20 each year if it’s not fixed.


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