Water guide

Silver tap dripping with white and orange tiled wall in background

Did you know?

The Environment Agency is warning that the UK could face serious water shortages within the next 25 years. On average we receive 885mm of rain each year, but while parts of the UK seem wet most of the time, areas like East Anglia are actually semi-arid. As our population grows to around 75 million by 2050, and climate change brings hotter, drier summers, our water supply will drop dangerously unless we take positive action. Find out more on the National Geographic website.

Using less water actually means you are:

  • Reducing energy use because cleaning waste water (or 'grey water', as it’s called) is an energy-intensive process and so is heating the hot water that comes out of your taps.
  • Saving money if you are on a water meter. Money Saving Expert has some really useful guidance on what to think about if you’re not already on a water meter, but are thinking of switching.

10 top tips for saving water

The average person in the UK uses around 145 litres of water each day. Watch this video from the Eden Project or read on to find out how you can reduce the amount of water you use. 

1. Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth

This can save 6 litres of water per minute.

2. Place a cistern displacement device in your toilet cistern 

This reduces the volume of water used in each flush. You can get one of these from your water provider.

3. Take a shorter shower

Showers can use anything between 6 and 45 litres per minute. Consider getting an aerated shower head, which combines water and air, or inserting a regulator in your shower, which puts an upper limit on flow rates.

4. Always use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher 

This cuts out unnecessary washes in between.

5. Fix a dripping tap

A dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day, or 5,500 litres of water a year.

6. Install a water butt (or two…)

And use it to water your plants, clean your car and wash your windows. A water butt can collect around 5,000 litres a year. You can connect water butts up too so, when one is full, water will automatically flow into the second one.

7. Water your garden with a watering can 

Much better than a hosepipe, which can use as much as 1,000 litres of water an hour. Mulching your plants (with bark chippings, heavy compost or straw) and watering in the early morning and late afternoon will reduce evaporation and also save water.

8. Fill a jug with tap water and place this in your fridge

This will mean you do not have to leave the cold tap running for the water to run cold before you fill your glass.

9. Install a water meter

When you're paying your utility provider for exactly how much water you use, laid out in an itemised bill, there's an incentive to waste less of the stuff, but check whether installing a water meter is right for you first.

10. Invest in water-efficient goods 

You can now get water-efficient showerheads, taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and many other water-saving products. For more information visit the Waterwise website or our local water company, Severn Trent Water. You can usually find some products which are available free of charge or at a subsidised cost.