Water Use Down 65%
Cost Down 35%
Tip Of The Day: Turn off taps as soon as you have enough water
With the cost of water continuously rising it becomes more and more economical to invest money to save water. As water usage is usually used to calculate sewerage charges these reduce as well in line with water savings. The information here is aimed at those people on a water meter. It is worth remembering that there are many people without a water meter who would benefit from having one fitted, saving significant sums of money. After several years of reductions in water use we reached the point where the scope for saving without major investment became more and more limited all the time in our original house. Since moving in November 2009 we hadn't done much work on saving water up until 2012 and we are not currently on a water meter. For 2012 the goal is to reduce the amount of water used watering a large garden by delivering the water to plant roots in a more efficient way and start the transition from doing this with mains water to rainwater.
Every day each of us uses between 130 and165 litres of water and this is about 70% more than 30 years ago mainly due to the proliferation of water using household appliances like washing machines and power showers. In comparison people in developing countries use around 20 litres a day. By 2020 the demand could increase by up to a further 1 billion litres of water a day. Domestic hot water contributes around 35 million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year, with a typical family using around 500 litres of water a day, that’s equal to nearly two tons of greenhouse gases a year. It wasn't until we started thinking about this subject in detail that we realised just how much water we were use unnecessarily. Filling the pond from the tap, washing cars with a hosepipe that is left running when not in use, leaving taps on with no plug in the sink, running the washing machine half full and indiscriminate use of a power washer are just some of the things we spotted.
There is one source of water that is free - rainwater. Any water conservation project should consider the use of rainwater especially for watering the garden, store as much as you can for those dry periods. Another source of effectively free water is recycled water, this is an area we haven't investigated in any detail. The savings quoted at the top of this page all refer to our original house and are relative to our 2003 bills.
While following the simple tips will save money, to achieve the biggest saving a structured approach works best, this does mean monitoring your water use but the effort is well worth it because you start to understand where you are wasting water. To get an idea of what can be done in each room of the house take a look at room by room for colour coded tips and advice.
Before embarking on expensive measures to reduce costs make sure all the simple and easy to implement changes have been done, the savings obtained may make the expensive changes uneconomic since the pay back time of bigger changes may be longer than the expected life of the equipment.
These pages are split into two main sections: General Information and the process used to identify and implement savings plus a summary of the results which are updated as information becomes available.
To help work out the real savings or otherwise of changes try EnCalcL a water use cost comparison calculator. To find out if the savings predicted are actually being achieved try using EnCalcLU a calculator for calculating, checking and predicting water bills. Both of these easy to use programs are free to download from JSutils and use for personal non commercial use.