Your plants need enough water to thrive so they decide the amount of water they need and it is up to us to provide it. At home, however, there are a number of ways to save water without too much effort.
In the bathroom
1. A full bath is relaxing and restorative, particularly when you are attempting to shake off a cold. However, a bath consumes much more than showering, especially if showering is done quickly. You can save even more water by using modern shower heads with reduced water flow.
2. There are also effective water flow limiters for taps that can mix the water jet with air, therefore saving up to 50% of water without any additional effort.
3. Don’t leave the tap running unnecessarily when brushing your teeth. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, after breakfast and your evening meal, for at least two minutes. Leaving the tap running can result in 10 to 20 litres of wasted water. Turning off the tap can save up to seven cubic metres of water a year.
4. Seven to eight litres of water are used for each toilet flush. Modern flush systems have a quick-flush option that reduces the flush to just five litres when appropriate. Over the course of a year, this can save around 7000 litres. Toilet flush mechanisms often have a slight defect that causes the flush to continue rinsing. A repair often costs less than the additional costs caused by continuous water loss.
5. If possible, washing machines should only be used when fully loaded. In general, a disproportionate amount of water is used to wash small loads. Modern washing machines have special economy and small load programmes. When buying a new washing machine, note the water and energy consumption figures of the various products.
In the kitchen
6. The same rules apply in the kitchen: Turn off the tap when it’s not needed. Most water is lost as a result of our laziness. Fruit and vegetables can just as easily be washed in a bowl rather than under a running tap to save water.
7. Contrary to widespread belief, dishwashers generally use less water than washing by hand. Pre-rinsing dishes isn’t necessary other than in exceptional circumstances and only increases overall water consumption instead.
8. However, only run the dishwasher when it’s full. For a one or two-person household, it therefore makes sense to buy a smaller dishwasher.
In the garden
9. Watering the garden is best done first thing in the morning when the water has the best chance of soaking into the ground before the heat of the day evaporates it away.
10. Use a Water Computer to manage your watering schedules to ensure that your plants are watered the right amount at the right time, whether you are there or not.
Check your water consumption
You should check your water consumption periodically. If you notice an unusual increase in water consumption, there may be a problem with the water pipes. If you suspect a leak, contact a plumber or your local authority.