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Simple everyday water-saving ideas

It’s easy to take water for granted. Turn on the tap and you get a seemingly endless supply splashing into the sink, pop to the seaside and there is literally oceans of the stuff and of course, in the UK it always seems like gallons of the stuff is falling from the sky!

But it’s not quite as simple as that. Yes, there may be lots of water on Planet Earth, but the key is having clean water and having water when you need it.

With shifts in the climate, we’re seeing heavier and heavier rain over the winter with long dry periods over the summer. When rain falls in concentrated heavy bursts, especially onto ground that’s already soaked, the excess runs off the surface, into rivers and eventually into the sea.

By johndal [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
This causes two main problems that are related to each other. Heavy rain showers mean there isn’t time for water to soak through to the deep underground. All that water collecting quickly and running over the surface can quickly fill rivers and streams and cause flooding. And because it’s not soaking into the ground it means there’s less water stored there for when there are drier periods, which means rivers, springs, and reservoirs may begin to dry out.

How much water do I use?

We all use water every day. We drink it, we wash ourselves in it, we wash our clothes in it and we clean with it. All those activities add up, so if you want to get an idea of exactly how much water you use day-to-day, our Water Audit activity is the perfect place to start.

By jenny downing (glass half-full) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

6 easy ways to save water

The good news is it’s really easy to reduce the amount of water you use and waste, and we’ve got a few ways you can try yourself at home or at school or work.

1. Don’t leave the tap running when you brush your teeth

It’s easy to do, but think of all that water running into the sink that you aren’t even using! Instead, wet your toothbrush first or add toothpaste to a dry toothbrush, then you can run the tap when you’ve finished brushing to rinse your mouth out.

2. Have a shower instead of a bath

A bath uses around 80 litres of water, while the average shower uses only 35 litres of water. That’s a big saving right there! You can also limit your time in the shower to 2 minutes and choose a water-saving shower head to save even more.

CC BY-SA 3.0,

3. Pop some water in the fridge

If you like to drink cold water, why not fill a jug and pop it in the fridge instead of running the tap until the water runs cold? This is a great suggestion by Souther Water.

4. Wash your veggies in a bowl

Rather than using a running tap to wash them, pop them in a bowl of water instead. Simple!

5. Fill your washing machine and dishwasher

Modern appliances can be very water- and energy-efficient, but they are most efficient if you run them with a full load. So wait until they are full before you start them going!

By No machine-readable author provided. Piotrus assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

6. Go veggie!

Animals require a lot more water than plants to grow and thrive, so choosing to go vegetarian or even cutting down the amount of meat you eat can make a big difference, as well as having many other environmental benefits. Why not make Meat-free Mondays a family or school tradition?!

Got any more ideas?

Let us know! Comment with them, share them on social media, and share these ideas too! The wider we can spread the message, the bigger a positive impact we can have.

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