Will the hosepipe ban make us water wise?

Hosepipe bans are now in force across the South East of England. This follows the fifth driest March recorded since 1910. There is a risk of even greater restrictions this summer but will this make us water wise?

If you are a keen gardener you’ll understand the value of water. You may have connected a water butt to your roof guttering down pipe to collect rainwater. Perhaps you routinely water your garden in the evening and water plants at their base so less of the water evaporates. But when was the last time you thought to water your household plants with your used bath water?

The Energy Saving Trust estimates UK households use on average 350 litres of water a day. Most of us could use less. We could, for example:

  • Avoid leaving taps running when washing vegetables and dishes
  • Install an aerating shower head (replacing ½ the water with air bubbles)
  • Fit a graduated flush device to toilets (to stop flushing 7 litres each use)
  • Fix a dripping tap and save up to 5500 litres of water a year

Donnachadh McCarthy with his Rainwater Harvesting system

Rainwater can provide for more than just plants. SuperHomer Donnachadh McCarthy uses rainwater to flush the toilet.

Some homeowners take even more radical steps. This includes storing rainwater in 3500 litre underground tanks and using rainwater to feed loos and washing machines. They say that clothes washed in rainwater actually come out cleaner. You can quiz these eco pioneers to find out more at annual open home events in spring and September. See for details.

Notes for Editors:
Word version with notes
PDF version with notes
Photo Download