Although it may seem like we have an infinite supply of water, the truth is that drinkable water is a shrinking commodity. In fact, in the next fifty years, freshwater is set to decrease by over 30%, due to a combination of rapid population growth and alarming changes in weather patterns. But slowly, awareness is spreading, and it’s never been easier to do your bit. And, along with helping to save the planet, saving water will also help reduce your energy bills. Here, then, are five simple and effective ways to save water in your home.
1. Take showers rather than baths
On average, a single bath uses at least 40 gallons of water, and that’s only when you first fill it. Most people like to top it up with hot water as the bath cools down, so in the end you could be looking at well over 50 gallons of water used. Showers, though, use far less (as long as you don’t stay in too long). With a low-flow shower head installed, you could be using as little as 10 gallons of water per shower.
2. Collect rainwater with a water butt and pump
It may not be fit for drinking, but collected rainwater can really help lessen your water consumption when it comes to outdoor activities like watering the garden or running a sprinkler. Attaching a drainpipe to a water butt is as simple as it gets, and, with a submersible pump like the kind manufactured by companies like Lowara, you can really widen the range of uses for your collected rainwater.
3. Install a low-flush toilet
Toilet flushing is responsible for more water consumption than any other home activity. With old toilets, a single flush can use up to 7 gallons, so every homeowner’s priority should be to install a newer, more efficient model, which can use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush.
4. Fill the washing machine or dishwasher
If your dishwasher or washing machine doesn’t have a setting to accommodate smaller loads, always make sure you only wash with full loads. This can make a huge difference to your water consumption, saving between 300 and 800 gallons per month.
5. Fix any leaks
While a leaking tap may seem like a minor problem, it can lead to massive water loss. One drop of water per second, for example, can mean an annual loss of almost 3,000 gallons. The good thing is that a leaking tap is usually extremely easy to fix; with plenty of DIY guides available, and easy-to-order spare parts, it may not even be necessary to call a plumber.
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