As Hosepipe Bans Hit The UK, Here's How To Save Water When The Weather's Hot

Think before you flush!
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When temperatures rise, it’s important to keep ourselves and our gardens hydrated. But weeks of hot weather and very little rain have resulted in serious water shortages across parts of England.

Southern Water is set to impose a temporary hosepipe ban in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from August 5, meaning people won’t be able to use hosepipes to water gardens, clean cars, and fill ornamental ponds and swimming pools.

The restriction is the first to be put in place in the region since 2012, although the company stressed there is “no direct risk to customer water supply”.

South East Water has also confirmed a hosepipe and sprinkler ban will be imposed on those living in Kent and Sussex from August 12, the BBC reported.

Parts of England have had their driest July since records began, according to provisional figures from the Met Office. South-east and central southern England saw an average of only 5.0mm of rain last month, while East Anglia had 5.4mm.

For both areas it was the lowest amount of rainfall in July since Met Office records began almost 200 years ago, in 1836.

With more warm weather expected in some parts of the UK, here are some tips for cutting down your water usage at home, while still keeping yourself and your garden refreshed.

Think before you flush

We all know not to leave taps running unnecessarily and to turn them off when brushing our teeth or shaving, but do you flush things down the toilet unnecessarily? For example, if you’ve used a tissue to blow your nose pop it in a bin rather than flushing.

Make small changes to your daily washing routine

Showers are much more water-efficient than baths, and should absolutely be your first choice for an eco-friendly wash. Keep them as short as possible (four minutes is advisable) and avoid running the water for a long time before getting in – this should be easier during the hot weather, when the cold water as you first turn on the shower will feel pleasant rather than bracing.

If you only have a tub, you can save five litres of water just by running your bath an inch lower, according to Water UK.

Use your dishwasher

If you fill up the dishwasher completely each time you run it, you’ll use less water than you would doing the washing up, according to Friends of the Earth. Just make sure it really is a full load.

Plus, a lot of dishwashers have an eco setting, so make sure you opt for that.

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Drink wisely

When making hot drinks, boil only as much water as you need. For cold drinks, fill a jug with tap water and place 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.

Cook smart

Reuse cooking water in which you have boiled vegetables, potatoes or pasta by adding it to sauces and stocks. Also, wash your vegetables and fruits in bowls of water rather than under the tap, so you can use the leftover water to give your plants a drink too.

Use a watering can instead of a hosepipe

During the hot weather, it’s doubly as important that you are giving your garden the love it needs. To do this in an eco-friendly way, refill a watering can instead of using a hosepipe, to minimise the use of any wasted water.

Consider putting hanging baskets and flower pots into the shade so they’re less likely to dry out.

Invest in a water butt

Not so handy for now, but definitely useful for when the rain does eventually hit. A water butt enables you to use leftover rainwater to tend to your plant friends, 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.