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Water conservation in the UK is a really important topic, as our ever increasing population uses more and more water and climate change continues to cause uncertainty as to how much rainfall we should expect year on year. As living costs also continue to rise, it is becoming essential for both environmental and cost saving reasons for households and businesses to look at how they conserve water.

Whilst recent news has predicted a below-inflation increase in water bills for 22/23 – 1.7% on average which will be around £7 per household – this doesn’t mean that all households will see a small increase. Ofwat, the economic regulator of water in England and Wales, have released a statement challenging water companies to help support customers as we live through these tough economic times, and it will be interesting to see what the response is as this year unfolds. In the meantime, we need to all do our bit to help save water and conserve our water usage.

Environmental impact

As above, as well as the financial reasons, the environment also benefits when we use less water, or use water more efficiently. Did you know:

  • Out of all the water on planet Earth (around 71% of the overall planet), only 3% is actually fresh water. Of this 3%, only 0.5% is available for drinking
  • Glaciers, ice caps, soil and the atmosphere retain the other 2.5% of fresh water – and we need all of these elements to remain in place and healthy
  • The other 97% of Earth’s water is salt water, which we cannot drink
  • We do not have an endless supply of water, as we use far more than what we receive as rainfall
  • Whilst we think it rains a lot in the UK, in actual fact we receive much less than countries like Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Panama and Costa Rica.
  • Saving water helps to minimise the effects of natural events such as droughts and water shortages.
Water conservation

Practical Ways to Save Water

  • Don’t run a washing machine or dishwasher half empty – wait until you have a full load to turn them on. This means you are using the same amount of water but cleaning more items – and this also has a beneficial impact on your energy bill, as you will be using your appliances less.
  • Don’t leave the tap running – it’s easy to keep the tap on when brushing your teeth or cleaning but turn it off each time you use it. Even a small ongoing drop can use 50 gallons of water a day!
  • If you plan to peel vegetables such as carrots or potatoes, don’t wash them first. You can peel them and rinse them after, saving washing them twice.
  • Having a shower instead of running a bath saves on average 40 litres of water each time you make the choice.
  • You should still limit your shower time though, as a typical shower uses between 5-10 gallons of water a minute. As you’re also heating your shower, this impacts your electricity bill.
  • If you do still prefer baths, don’t fill it to the top – a partially filled bath is much more economical
  • If you still have an old fashioned pull chain toilet, consider switching to a water saving cistern. This can save on average between 1-3 litres each time you flush
  • Many households with lawns use a sprinkler to keep their grass green, but switching to a watering can save up to 1000 litres of water per hour – a significant amount! Many households have also started to save rainwater that would otherwise go to waste, by installing water butts to collect it as it falls. The average butt holds 200 litres of water, which is a great saving on using – and paying for – 200 litres of treated water.


Ofwat calls on water companies to offer a helping hand to those in need –   https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/pn-03-22-ofwat-calls-on-water-companies-to-offer-a-helping-hand-to-those-in-need/