Water Saving Week: 8 simple household swaps to help you save water

Water running out of a shower head.
Water running out of a shower head.
7:30am, Mon 17 May 2021
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With much of the conversation around climate change focusing on carbon emissions and energy use, and given the woefully wet weather we’ve been having lately, it’s easy to assume water is the least of our environmental worries.

In reality, parts of the UK are already under ‘serious water stress’, according to the Environment Agency, and demand is set to rise, meaning efficiency needs to be improved.

To mark Water Saving Week (May 17 -21), every household can help ensure not a drop is wasted, and in doing so you’ll be saving money too…

1. Have a shower instead of a bath

Drawing a bath uses, on average, 80 litres of water, while a four-minute shower uses around 48 litres. If you must have a bath, don’t fill the tub all the way to the top – each extra inch equates to about five litres of water.

2. Install an efficient showerhead

Regular shower heads pump out around 12 litres of water a minute, and some power showers can actually use even more water than baths (if you tend to take long showers). Installing a eco shower head can cut water use in half.

3. Use dry shampoo

Another way to cut down on shower time? Skip the hair washing and use dry shampoo to refresh your roots instead. Hold the can 30cm away, spray into your roots and leave for one minute to let the powder soak up any oiliness. Brush through your hair and it’ll feel good as new.

4. Don’t pre-rinse your dishes

If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, there’s no need to rinse plates and utensils before putting them in. All you need to do is scrape off any excess food then stack as usual – they’ll be just as clean when you unload.

5. Water plants carefully

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To prevent water evaporating during the day, only water outdoor plants in the morning or at night, and make sure to aim the water at the soil so it reaches the roots instead of being lost on leaves.

6. Turn off taps

Water running from a bathroom tap into a hand basin.

It may sound obvious, but many of us are guilty of letting water that could be better used elsewhere, run down the drain.

If you’re always waiting for the water to run cold before filling a glass, why not fill a jug and keep it in the fridge so it’s always chilled and ready to drink? Or, in the bathroom, fill a small bowl (not the whole sink) when shaving so you don’t have to leave the water running.

7. Add a CDD to your loo


A cistern displacement device or CDD reduces the amount of water used to flush your loo by taking up space in the cistern, and can save around three litres with each flush. Many water companies provide these for free or you can buy them cheaply on sites like Amazon.

8. Get a water butt

Make the most of soggy weather with a water butt, which collects rainwater so you can use it to feed your garden. Depending on how much outdoor space you’ve got, you could collect up to 350 litres of rain. And it doesn’t have to be an eyesore – these days you can get some very aesthetically pleasing water butts.

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