In England, we get a fair bit of rain. Often in the south (where the sun dries it up quickly) or in the northwest (where it rains and rains!) So it’s a bit silly that our water bills are so high. This is in part due to the water companies now being private (in Wales, the water board is publicly-owned and non-profit with fairly good reviews). But water companies are a monopoly, so you can’t change them. You can make complaints to Ofwat, but that’s about it.
So it’s far more empowering (and better for the planet) to get a bit creative and find ways to save water yourself, rather than sit at home wondering how to pay for rising energy bills.
This watering can to collect rain collects drops from downpours, to save you turning on the tap and increasing your water bills. Made from recycled plastic, it features an easy-fill design and even a frog ladder, to allow little creatures to escape! In a 7 litre capacity (green or purple).
Hippo the Watersave is good for old toilets (you don’t need water-saving devices for modern cisterns). It’s safer than a brick and simply sits in your cistern, to save water each time you flush. It only costs a few pounds, and some councils even supply them for free.
A great way to save water is to check that your toilet or other areas is not leaking. Thames Water has a handy guide to do this. If you have a leak and get it fixed, you’ll save a lot on water. Obviously if you don’t use a lot of water, then ask your council to install a meter. If you use a lot of water, installing a meter also helps you see where you can reduce unnecessary water use.
Most DIY stores sell tap aerators, that give the same flow but mix air with water, so they use far less water. Water-saving showerheads do the same, but get a plumber to fit them, for safety.
Use a universal plug to wash the dishes, this saves water running down the sink unnecessarily, and could save you up to 30 litres a day.
There’s nothing like a relaxing bath, but showers do use far less water. Although power showers can use as much ,and also use as much energy. You can buy bath diverters that kind of hang out of upstairs windows to water plants, but these are only any good if you use biodegradable unscented bath products or you’ll kill the plants, and could be unsafe for wildlife and pets below.
The Water-Wise Home is a great (American) book which gives good insight into the three main water-saving areas of rainwater harvesting, greywater harvesting and composting toilets.
invest in a good water butt
Leaving open barrels around is not good ( a drowning hazard and stagnant water attracts mosquitoes). But what you can do is use a water butt. EvenGreener sells quality ones made from recycled plastic, check the ones have suitable locks for pets and children. In a wide range of sizes, there are also slimline ones (that you can often place together for tight spaces) and giant ones for industrial use). They do require a bit of DIY to fit, but it rains a lot in England, so this is a no-brainer (say to water a golf course).