10:02 12 October 2009
Britain is a nation of water wasters, according to a new Defra campaign. The average UK household uses over 100,000 litres of water a year thats the equivalent of 317 pints or 150 litres per person per day. Whereas, each person in Germany typically uses 127 litres a day.
However we don't necessarily need all this water and thousands of litres of perfectly clean and drinkable water is quite literally going down the drain. It is not only this immense waste of such a prescious resource that is an issue, but the extra carbon emissions created from treating and transporting it ready for re-use which also flushes out our green credentials.
Despite being an island and our renowned reputation for wet weather the UK actually has less available water per head than many European countries including France, Italy and Greece. London, for example, has less annual rainfall than Rome, Paris or Naples.
As pressure intensifies on our already limited water resources from a growing population, infrastructure development, lifestyle choices and climate change water is an increasingly precious resource we need to conserve.
The average family uses an enormous 500 litres of water a day, which equates to 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.
It is estimated that by 2020, the increasing population and housing growth will mean the demand for water will rise by 5% - thats 800 million extra litres of water a day.
But there are small things each of us can do to make a huge difference.
Research shows that 87% of people dont use a water-saving bag in their toilet cistern yet this simple measure could save one litre of water per flush with minimal cost and effort.
Similarly, an aerated/water efficient shower head could save up to six litres of water a minute without effecting the performance or enjoyment of your shower, but only 3% use one.
There are other simple things you can do to limit water wastage. What's more, making these small changes can also help you save money through reduced energy bills, and water bills if youre on a meter.
TV personality Kate Humble (presenter of 'Spring Watch' and 'Autumn Watch') is fronting Defra's Water Saving Campaign, challenging the public to save 20 litres of water a day, just by making simple changes to their everyday life.
She said:"Water is a precious resource but we all waste too much of it. Saving water at home doesnt need to be a big sacrifice - just spending one minute less in the shower can make a big difference. Simple changes can really add up to a better environment - meaning more water for the wildlife and countryside around us as well as saving on carbon emissions generated in the treatment and transportation of water to our taps.
Watch the short video clip below to find out about the things you can do to make a difference in your home then take a look at more water saving tips below:
Taking steps now to use water wisely will help ensure the future of our water supply, help to limit the effects of climate change protecting the natural environment and save money in the process.
For further information and advice on how to save water visit www.direct.gov.uk/actonco2
Defra's water saving tips:
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth - this can save as much as six litres a minute.
Fix a dripping tap - this can save 75 litres per day.
Install a cistern displacement device (CDD) such as a Hippo in your toilet - this could save up to 5,000 litres a year.
Take shorter showers - reducing your shower by just four minutes can dramatically reduce your water use and wastage.
Fit a water efficient shower head to your shower - this can reduce the amount of water you use, without compromising shower performance.
Use a dishwasher for the washing up - hand washing uses about 150 litres per session, whereas a dishwasher can use as little as 15 litres per cycle.
Fill a jug or bottle with water and keep it in the fridge, to ensure you always have a cool drink - waiting for the tap to run cold for a drink of water can waste more than 10 litres a day.
Wait until you have a full load before putting on the washing machine - one full load uses significantly less water than two half loads.
Invest in a water butt to provide you with plenty of fresh water for your garden. Your roof collects about 85,000 litres of rain water a year, which could fill 450 water butts with free water.
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