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Using water wisely

Advice on how to conserve water for domestic and business users.

We use water in three main areas of the home:

  • 68% in the bathroom
  • 22% in the kitchen
  • 10% outdoors

In the bathroom

Showers use the most amount of water in the home (25%), closely followed by toilets (22%). A four minute shower will use less water and energy than taking a bath and a shower timer can help you enjoy a short shower.

You can also fit an aerated or eco-showerhead and continue to enjoy a shower while using less hot water.

Tips to help you use water wisely in the bathroom

Tip 1

Turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth and shaving

Did you know? Turning the tap off whilst brushing your teeth can save as much as 6 litres of water a minute and up to 2,200 litres of water a year.

Tip 2

Take a short shower

Did you know? Knocking 1 minute off your shower time saves up to 2,400 litres of water a year per person.

Tip 3

Toilet paper, pee and poo, the only things you should flush down the loo

Did you know? In a year, the average household flushes the toilet about 4,600 times. That’s about 28,000 litres of water – enough to fill 350 standard baths!

Tip 4

Make sure taps aren’t dripping, turn them off properly or replace the washer

Did you know? A dripping tap can waste over 5,000 litres of water a year.

In the kitchen

Always use the right sized pan for the job, and put a lid on it.

Over a fifth (22%) of the water used in the home is in the kitchen. Washing dishes, washing clothes, general cleaning, cooking and even making a cuppa all use water and energy.

Tips to help you use water wisely and save energy in the kitchen

Tip 1

Boil the kettle with only the water you need

Did you know? Save on your energy bills by only boiling as much water as you need and you’ll also save time waiting for the kettle to boil!

Tip 2

Fill up your washing machine.

Did you know? A full load saves on water and energy and washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees reduces your machine’s energy consumption by 57%.

Tip 3

Use the eco-function on your dishwasher. It will save both water and energy.

Avoid pre-rinsing dishes. Detergents are highly effective so all you need to do is simply scrape and place in the dishwasher. Easy.

Tip 4

Wash your dishes or vegetables in a bowl.

Did you know? A tap left running for washing dishes or vegetables for 10 minutes loses around 60 litres of water which disappears straight down the drain.

Outside the home

Tips to help you use water wisely and reduce the amount of tap water you use outside your home

Tip 1

Use a bucket and sponge to wash the car instead of a hosepipe.

Did you know? A hosepipe can use enough water in 30 minutes to fill five bath tubs.

Tip 2

Water your plants early in the evening or morning to reduce evaporation. Try to avoid watering grass during dry weather to conserve water within your private supply.

Did you know? Rainwater is free and is better for your plants as there is more nitrogen in the rain to make your plants thrive.

Tip 3

Use a water butt instead of tap water in the garden.

Did you know? A small Scottish roof collects over 45,000 litres of water each year and a large roof can collect over 90,000 litres per year. That’s more than enough to keep your water butt topped up.

Use a watering can instead of a hose for your plants – it’s more accurate, placing water where it does most good.

Agriculture - move livestock using a private water supply onto an alternative or untreated supply.

Source for figures: Energy Saving Trust.

Page last updated:
20 Oct 2020

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