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How much water do you use?

How much water do you use?

Does it surprise you to know you probably use 153 litres of water a day (according to Ofwat)?

Changing water consumption and the environment

In many developing countries, water consumption is as low as 20 litres a day for the average person (what we used in Britain in the 19th century).

The Environment Agency is urging people to use less water. In April 2012 they announced an environmental drought in the south west of England and the Midlands, with East Anglia, the south east of England and south and east Yorkshire also suffering from drought.

In 2005, groundwater levels were lower than they have been for 20 years, affecting the wildlife that depends on rivers and wetlands - fish, birds and rare plants.

By using less, you can save money and lessen the impact of drought on our environment.

Changes in water resources

Our increased water consumption is putting a strain on our water resources. While this is partly as a result of new technology and behaviour such as frequent showering, dishwashers and washing machines, it's combined with activities such as leaving a tap running while we brush our teeth or shave, increased and unnecessary use of sprinklers or hosepipes, long power showers, running taps for excessive periods and flushing the toilet to dispose of things like tissues and cotton wool.

There are simple things you can do to cut your water use that will, if you have a metered supply, save you money.

Water supplies in the UK

Water wasted by the consumer is not the only issue that threatens our water supplies. Rainfall patterns and population increases are also creating difficulties for the government and water industry. Here are some facts that will get you thinking about the precious stuff that comes out of your tap:

  • the average Briton uses the equivalent of 16 buckets worth of water a day. One third of this goes down the loo
  • London gets less annual rainfall than either Istanbul or Rome
  • about one third of our water is lost through leaking pipes before it gets to our home - many water companies claim they can't afford to repair them because of the difficulties in meeting demands
  • on average, only 3% of domestic water is used as drinking water
  • many people in the world exist on 10 litres of water or less a day, we use this in almost one flush of the toilet

What can you do?

For advice on how to limit water use read our guide on how to save water for loads more tips on reducing your water use.

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