22 March 2010
To mark World Water Day, 22 March 2010, Stephen Bolt, a specialist in water conservation at consultancy WYG has provided some top tips to help conserve water.
Stephen said: “On a large scale, water may cost businesses more than most people would think. Managers and business owners tend not to identify water as a raw material that is paid for twice - to receive it and to take it away as waste. By taking some simple actions, such as auditing water usage and implementing a smart water conservation plan, you could save up to 30% in effluent charges.
“Some of the easiest ways to reduce our water consumption in the home is by changing our behaviour or habits. While efficient appliances can undoubtedly help, water conservation doesn't have to cost the earth. By simply shortening the length of time you spend in the shower by a few minutes, you could save up to 150 gallons of water every month,” he added.
Here are Stephen’s ten top tips:
1. Grooming – Turn off water while you brush your teeth, shave, and while you lather up when washing your hands and face.
2. Showering – Keep showers under five minutes and purchase a low-flow showerhead. If you're taking a shower, don't waste cold water while waiting for hot water to reach the shower head. Instead, catch that water in a bucket or container to use on your plants outside.
3. Flushing theToilet – Put a plastic bottle or a plastic bag weighted with pebbles and filled with water in your toilet tank. Displacing water in this manner allows you to use less water with each flush.
4. Dishwashing & Laundry – Only put a wash on when you have a full load of dirty laundry or dishes. If you wash dishes by hand (which is a better choice) don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
5. Defrosting Foods – Don’t defrost foods under running water. Thawing foods under running water requires several gallons to warm food from its frozen state. Putting the food in the fridge or leaving it out the night before gets the job done and saves water - its only requires a little bit of forward planning.
6. Drinking Water - Keep a bottle of drinking water in your fridge. This beats the wasteful habit of running tap for a long period of time to allow water to cool for drinking. This will also cut down on the number of glasses you need to wash.
7. Outside – Plant native and drought tolerant plants. Only water your garden when needed (you can tell when by walking across your lawn–if you leave footprints, it’s time to water). Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk as it helps prevent the growth of various fungi. Also, more plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.
8. Washing the car - Drive your car onto the grass to wash it – the rinse water can help water the grass at the same time. Or, if you take your car to a car wash, make sure it's one that recycles its water.
9. Repairing it – Make sure you fix leaky or broken taps as soon as they are discovered.
10. Encouraging Others – Make suggestions to your employer to conserve water at work. Encourage your town and local schools to develop and promote water conservation.