Stop wasting water! 8 tips for water conservation

waterRuscombe Brook Action Group are passionate about responsible water use. They strive for improved wildlife habitats and seek a water management strategy in the Stroud area that will properly protect them from floods and drought.

Philip Booth is a Stroud District councillor (Green) and author of Ruscombe Green blog. Today he’s sharing some tips and advise on saving water and energy.

Save water

About one third of the water each person uses on a daily basis is wasted – it runs straight down the plughole. We must cut that waste.

Already, despite a seemingly wet climate, almost 25 million Britons live in areas where there is less available water per person than in Spain or Morocco. The South East of England has less water available per person than Sudan and Syria. Many of our rivers already have reduced flows and climate change forecasts suggest the amount of water available will be reduced even further. It is also likely to lead to more flooding events and it is worth noting that water saving reduces flooding.

Reduce carbon footprint

The average Briton uses 148 litres (260 pints) of water every day. However there is also a hidden aspect to our water use, in the manufacturing of the goods we buy and the crops we eat. It takes for example 1,000 litres to grow a kilo of wheat or two kilos of potatoes and a massive 24,000 litres for a kilo of beef. We could in effect each be consuming indirectly around 1.5 to 2 million litres per year!

Transporting, heating and treating water accounts for over 6% of the UK’s carbon footprint. Using less water means we cut the energy needed to treat it and we reduce our impact on the environment. It is vital we start to look at managing our water better in our manufacturing and agricultural uses but also at home.

Water saving tips

Some water saving tips from the Ruscombe Brook Action Group

  1. Get a ‘hippo’! The Hippo reduces the amount of water in your toilet cistern by up to 30%! Alternatively place a plastic bottle in your toilet’s cistern. Flushing the loo uses a third of our mains water! Take care your hippo doesn’t lead to extra flushing as some cisterns are already designed to reduce flows.
  2. Fix that drip! A dripping tap can waste up to 4 litres of water a day. Replace worn washers or fit a more efficient tap.
  3. Spray more! Spray head taps can reduce consumption by up to 70%.
  4. Recycle! Wash fruit and veg in a bowl rather than under the tap; then use the water for watering plants!
  5. Sprinkle less! Sprinklers use the same amount of water in an hour as a family of four uses in a day! Install a trickle system instead which works from a water butt.
  6. Get an Eco Showerhead! 60% of the world’s hot water is for showering: NordicEco, Mira Eco or EcoCamel showerheads all massively cut water use and pay for themselves in weeks.
  7. Reduce paving and concrete! This helps stop run off water.
  8. Count every drop! Support widespread water metering. If applied to all households we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 27 times the total UK Carbon Reduction Commitment target.

Call Philip Booth on 01453 755451 or Jo Bottrill on 01453 750063 for more details. Or see their Ruscombe Brook Action Group website

What about you? How do you conserve water at home and work?


  1. John on November 25, 2009 at 2:58 am

    I suppose this may not be included as saving water, but you can install an eco-drain in your shower. Its a pipe that the incoming water passes through. This water is heated because the runoff from your shower is still warm as it passes down the drain, heating up the pipe.

  2. Mrs Green on November 25, 2009 at 7:28 am

    @John: Morning John; thanks for your comment about the eco-drain. I think I might have heard of something similar and the idea is intriguing. Mr Green and I were musing the other week about the waste of hot water going down the drain and how it should be captured to warm the home. I’ll take a look at the eco drain – thanks!

  3. The Green Living Expert on December 15, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Water is life. We should not waste water. I always try to conserve water at home by turning the water off while I am brushing my teeth, and watering gardens sparingly. We all should do our individual duty properly and follow our social responsibility. Thanks for your nice informative blog.

  4. Mrs Green on December 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    @The Green Living Expert: Hi there, thanks for taking time to comment; you sound passionate about environmental issues – nice blog and site too 🙂