In the UK we each use an average of 141 litres of water every day – but as the temperature rises so does our water usage, with paddling pools at the ready, thirsty gardens and even thirstier people. This rise in demand can mean supplies become stretched, with the absence of rainfall making our natural resources less plentiful. So during the summer months, it’s particularly important for us all to be mindful of how much water we’re using and do what we can to use water wisely.
Luckily being water wise doesn’t require lots of effort or major lifestyle changes – just a few minor adjustments to your daily routine can make all the difference. With temperatures remaining high and with thoughts of summer holidays on our minds, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite ways to save water during the summer.
- During the hot weather it can be tempting to jump in the shower more frequently to cool off. When you do, remember to keep it short and sweet – for every minute less you spend in the shower you could save about eight litres of water.
- Keeping hydrated is always important, but especially during a hot spell. Keeping topped up with cool tap water is great, but rather than leaving the tap to run to the desired temperature, why not keep a jug in your fridge? That way you’ll have a ready supply of chilled water, without wasting a drop.
- Have the kids finished in the paddling pool? Rather than sending the water straight down the drain, why not reuse the water to give your lawn or flowers a drink?
- Speaking of the garden, it can be tempting during hot weather to rush to water our plants, but if you do this too often their roots will remain shallow and weak. Instead, check the soil a good few inches beneath the surface. If it’s still damp your plants don’t need watering; if it’s dry then it’s time to get out the watering can.
- When you do water your garden, remember to water directly onto the soil rather than onto the leaves, which will help water get to the roots. Choosing when to water your plants can help you make the most of your water too – water your plants in the morning or evening when it’s cooler to minimise the impact of evaporation.
- Is your lawn looking more brown than green in the hot weather? Don’t panic – lawns quickly recover when it rains and don’t need to be watered in between.
With the summer in full swing, lots of you will now be thinking about holiday plans. Whether you’re staying in the UK or heading off further afield, there are lots of simple things you can still do to use water wisely.
- Wherever you’re travelling to, don’t forget to take your reusable bottle with you. Did you know licensed cafes, bars and restaurants must provide free tap water – all you need to do is ask. In addition, more and more refill stations are popping up around the country, so whether you’re travelling by plane, train or automobile it’s now easier than ever to top up. Not sure where your nearest refill point is? Download the free Refill app to find out.
- If you’re staying in a hotel during your holiday why not help them save water too. Most hotels will give you the option of not having your towels washed every day, so if you can, why not take them up on the offer.
- Wherever you’re staying, keep your eyes peeled for any leaky toilets or dripping taps. If you spot anything, let your host or hotel reception know.
Bank holiday fun in the sun
With the August bank holiday now in sight, many of us will be looking forward a long weekend. While it may be a little unlikely we will see wall-to-wall sunshine, ever the optimist, we’ve compiled some our favourite ways to have fun in the sun, while still using water wisely.
- Collect water as it heats from a combi boiler or electric shower – keep a bucket in the shower or a jug by the tap. This water can then be used to let the children splash about in the garden or to water your plants.
- Use washing-up bowls or half-full buckets to fill water soakers for some fun in the garden. Keeps the children cool, reduces waste at the taps and keeps the bathroom/kitchen floor dry.
- Think about having a ‘paddling pool party’ – get together with friends, have fun and save water.
- Have the kids finished in the paddling pool? Rather than sending the water straight down the drain, why not reuse the water to give your lawn or flowers a drink? Or, use the water to give your dog a wash
Whatever the time of year, there are lots of quick and simple things we can all do to use water wisely.