Every Little Helps – April 2012

Every Little HelpsOnce again this year, there’s been another very dry winter (rainfall has been below average for 19 out of the past 24 months), with the likelihood of local hosepipe bans. Last year I wrote about water use from a gardener’s perspective: micro-watering and collecting in butts. I checked the drought provision: micro-watering is OK (but re-filling our fish pond by hosepipe isn’t).

What about saving water in the house? In the Thames Water area, a household with 4 people uses over 600 litres a day. Their online water usage calculator says we use around 590 litres a day … that’s all fresh drinking water by the way. Our family’s main aim is to reduce the amount we use in showering from 400 litres to the average 100 litres (teenagers take note).

Thames Water offer free water-saving devices: bags for the loo cistern (flush with less water), tap inserts and so on. My favourite is a shower timer (like for eggs, but this one sticks on the shower wall and tells you when to get out).

Secondary schools use on average 1,000 litres of water per pupil per year. The government’s “wise up to water” web site helps schools to reduce their costs by educating students, staff and parents about saving water. On average, a school could save £1,500 per year with simple water saving actions (and 7,000 m3 of water too).

I’ll bet as you’re reading this it’s raining cats and dogs … if not, perhaps we should all think ahead. We will be collecting rainwater in dustbins whenever we can from now on and eventually get a butt installed. Thames Water say it’s not possible to predict when the hosepipe ban will be lifted, so it could be a long, dry summer for our pond fish.

Thames Water

Saving Water at School


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