5 Ways To Reduce Your Water Usage (So England Doesn't Run Dry By 2040)

We need to cut our water use by a third, says environment chief.

England could run out of water within 25 years if we do not drastically reduce the amount we use, according to the chief executive of the Environment Agency. To avoid taps running dry, people will need to cut their water use by a third, Sir James Bevan told The Guardian.

“We need water wastage to be as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby or throwing your plastic bags into the sea,” he said. Climate change, Sir Bevan said, and a growing population is a risk to the British water supply, with summers expected to get far hotter than current temperatures by 2040.

He said the average person’s daily water use of 140 litres could be cut to 100 litres in 20 years to help tackle this. If you want to cut back on your water use, here’s how you can make a change.

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Get water-saving freebies from your supplier.

Lots of water suppliers offer free water-saving devices. These include ‘save a flush’ toilet devices – which reduce the amount of water flushed away and could save 5,000 litres of water and £13 per year per household, according to the charity Hubbub, and tap aerators – which save water by mixing water with air and could knock £36 off an annual water bill.

Another handy device is a four minute water timer, which is designed to cut the time you spend in the shower and could shave £15 off an annual metered water bill. Get in touch with your supplier to find out what’s on offer.

Don’t overrun the tap.

Consider filling a jug with tap water and keeping it in your fridge. That way, you won’t have to run your tap for a long time to get the water running cold before filling your glass.

Try a water-free beauty regime.

Water makes up more than half of most beauty products and it’s not even an active ingredient. Many brands, from niche newcomers to beauty giants, are trialling water-free products, claiming they create more potent solutions.

Check if you have a leaky loo.

A vast amount of water is lost to leaks every year. To check whether yours is in tip-top condition, stick a detection strip into your loo before you go to bed. In the morning, if that colour’s changed, you have a leak.

Harvest rainwater for the garden.

A water butt enables you to use leftover rainwater to tend to your plants, instead of draining precious fresh water. To give a little perspective, just one filled water butt (or rainwater tank) holds enough rainwater to fill a watering can 25 times. Using a watering can will also waste less water than a hose.