How to Save Water in Your Home

With clean water available at the turn of a tap, it's easy to take this natural resource for granted. But did you know that our water use has a big effect on nature? Join us for a deep dive into slowing the flow at home.

All around the UK, homes and businesses enjoy a steady supply of clean water. This resource is of such high quality, in fact, that we wash our clothes, scrub our cars, and flush our toilets with water that's safe for drinking - a privilege not found in many other countries.

Sadly this resource comes at a cost not only for our bank accounts, but for nature too. Much of Hampshire's water supply is drawn from an underground chalk aquifer that also feeds our local chalk streams. If too much water is taken then these precious habitats can suffer shortages that threaten their wildlife.

This drawing of water, known as 'abstraction' is based on our demand, so we all have the power to do something about this issue. Even small changes to our household habits can add up to a big positive difference - here are our top tips for saving water in your home!

Spaghetti in pan © Robin Stickel via Getty Images

Spaghetti in pan © Robin Stickel via Getty Images

In the kitchen

When filling your kettle, be careful to only boil as much as you need. Many newer models have a 'cup guide' on the side, but you could also measure out the right quantity with a clean mug. Fancy a cool drink instead? Keep a jug of water in the fridge to avoid waiting for your tap to run cold.

Fruits and vegetables can be rinsed in a bowl of water, which will then make a welcome drink for any houseplants you have. This trick also works for refreshing your pet's drinking bowl, and even for pans that have been used to boil vegetables - just check that the water is unsalted and has fully cooled.

Speaking of saucepans, popping the lid on stops water being lost as steam and helps your food to cook more quickly. Once your culinary masterpiece is complete, do the dishes in a washing-up bowl instead of under running water. If a dishwasher is more your thing, make sure it's full before pressing 'go'.

Shower head © golfcphoto via Getty Images

Shower head © golfcphoto via Getty Images

In the bathroom

When it's time to freshen up, consider your options carefully. Baths tend to use around 80 litres of water, but some power showers can use 15 litres a minute! If you have one of these, think about getting an aerated or low-flow shower head - both can reduce water use without losing pressure.

If you do opt for a shower, try setting a timer on you phone and turning off the water while shaving or shampooing. Do any exercise you have planned just before hopping in, so you won't need to shower twice. Experiment with washing your hair less often too - your locks and wallet could both thank you.

While it might be less noticeable, your toilet is also heavy on water consumption. Dual flush toilets can cut this down (provided they're working properly) as can cistern displacement devices. Blockages often take a lot of water to clear, so remember to banish wipes and other solid items to the bin.

Laundry room © Kerkez via Getty Images

Laundry room © Kerkez via Getty Images

Around the house

Your washing machine may be tucked away in a corner, but be sure to give this water-hungry device some attention. Checking the manual could tell you which cycle is the most efficient option. Many people underestimate the maximum load too, so try chucking a few more socks into the drum.

If you've worn clothes briefly, or only wear them around the house, you may not need to wash them very often. Try hanging them up in an airy room, or pegging them out on the clothesline if you have one. A quick skim with a steam iron can also perk up items that are worn but not dirty.

Look out for leaks in all areas of your home, as these can undermine even the most careful water savers. A leaky loo can waste up to 300 litres a day, and a dripping tap up to 10,000 litres a year! Check Southern Water's advice on finding and fixing the most common household leaks.

Take up the challenge

If you're lucky enough to have a yard or garden, the way you manage it could also be crucial to your water-saving efforts. Learn more about why your water use matters for our chalk streams, and the impact of outdoor space, with the Watercress and Winterbournes scheme.

Learn more about water saving