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Be “water aware” - tips for people at home

In the record sunny weather, water companies and the campaign group Waterwise are providing tips for the public to manage the higher demand for water, particularly in gardens.

Demand for water from households has jumped recently – in some cases it’s 25% above normal for this time of year, and there have been unusual peaks in usage in the evening. The rise is down to a combination of more people staying at home and the hot weather.

There are variations across the UK, and water companies are all getting tailored advice out to customers in their local areas.  The message, particularly to keen gardeners, is to think carefully about water-saving opportunities.

Simple tips like: re-using the water in a paddling pool, and watering plants in the morning, instead of the evening, and with a can rather than a hose, can make all the difference, smoothing out demand across the day.

When more people use water at the same time, the result can be lower water pressure at peak times, and some simple steps can help avoid that.

Water UK Chief Executive Christine McGourty said:

“Everyone’s enjoying this lovely weather, which has been lifting people’s spirits at a difficult time. The hot spell just means it’s good to think about how we can all be aware of the water we’re using and work together to use it wisely. If we can smooth demand across the day, that’s better for everyone.

“There are also simple steps everyone can take, such as shorter showers, making sure dishwashers are full and on an eco setting, using a watering can instead of a hose in the garden, and re-using paddling pool water on flower beds.”

Managing Director of campaign group Waterwise, Nicci Russell, said:

“We all have a part to play in using water wisely. Water is so valuable to us all, not just for health but also for fun and gardening. It’s certainly nice to cool off, but there are loads of simple things we can do to save water – especially now, when there is so much pressure on our water supply from both beautiful sunny weather and from all of us spending more time at home. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, remember that a sprinkler or a hosepipe can use as much water in an hour as two families would use in a day! Let that grass go brown – it will soon recover! – and use a watering can for your plants. And if you can, take nice short showers instead of long baths – you can use the Waterwise Shower Playlist on Spotify to keep you on track!’

Water companies have water-saving advice and free gadgets to help customers reduce their water use.

It’s important that people keep following the guidance on protecting their health during COVID-19, making sure they wash their hands regularly.

Other tips:

  • Knock a minute off your shower – use the Waterwise Shower Playlist on Spotify to keep you on track!
  • Take pride in letting your car get and stay dirty – you can write #Don’tCleanMe in the dust on the windscreen
  • Let your lawn go brown – it will soon go green again when we see some rain
  • If you’re planning exercise during the day - shower once after that rather than when you get up and then again after exercise
  • Top up the paddling pool - instead of refilling it every day. When you've finished, use the water on your plants and grass so none goes to waste
  • When refreshing a pet’s water bowl, use the old water on house plants rather than pouring it down the drain
  • Plan on doing a home workout today? Have your shower after your workout – and make it a short one!
  • Try turning the water off in between washing your body, shampooing and conditioning. To go one step further, place a bucket in the shower with you to collect any excess water – you can use this to flush your toilet.

Find more tips for saving water particularly during the pandemic here