It’s easy to take water for granted. It runs freely from our taps and most of us pay a fixed amount for it regardless of how much we use. This means that there is little incentive to reduce our consumption.
Consider however that not only is Hertfordshire one of the driest regions of the country, we are one of the highest consumers of water in the UK. With more homes being built, and climate change affecting rainfall patterns, it’s likely that we all are going to have to cut back on the amount of water we use in our homes, or face more regular restrictions in future.
It’s easy to forget the connection between the amount of water we use, and the health of our natural water bodies. Nor do we think too much about the effects of flushing our waste water, and chemicals, back into our rivers and streams.
On average, households in the St Albans district use around 174 litres of water per day. We need to reduce this to more sustainable levels. The Government has set a target for each of us to reduce our consumption to 130 litres per day.
What's shocking is that many people in the world exist on less than 10 litres per day. This is how much we use to flush the toilet just once!
Benefits of reducing water consumption
Reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions - It takes energy to abstract, treat and supply water to our homes. We then use energy to heat that water. For every drop of water you don't use, you are saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To supply and treat 500 litres of water per day to an average family home produces around 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.
Save money - By reducing your water consumption and fitting a water meter you could save money on your bills. If you have more bedrooms than people, it should be cost effective to switch to a meter. Use the online calculator on the Consumer Council for Water or speak to Affinity Water, the local water supplier.
Support the natural environment and wildlife that depends on it - many rivers and water bodies have been damaged because too much water is being taken from them. The current system for managing abstraction was not designed with the natural environment in mind.
FREE SMART shower water sensors for St Albans Residents
St Albans residents are eligible to apply for the DAIAD pilot scheme to receive a free water sensor device for your shower!
DAIAD is an EU-funded research project with the vision of enabling all consumers to self-monitor their water consumption through low-cost technologies, using the knowledge gained to promote sustainable water consumption.
In partnership with DAIAD, Waterwise has managed to secure DAIAD technologies for monitoring water use for 100 households in the St Albans District. As part of a 12 month pilot, successful applicants will receive a new smart water sensor (monitored with phones or tablets via Bluetooth), enabling them to better understand their water consumption behaviour. Participants will receive the complete system for free and can keep it after the pilot has ended!
There are a few spaces left so please apply soon. Please refer to the attached leaflet for details on how to apply
Water: The Bigger Picture photo competition
We held a photo competition asking residents to send us powerful and creative photos which help us to promote water efficiency to protect Hertfordshire’s natural environment.
Congratulations to St. Albans residents Ernest Leahy who won 1st prize from Redbourn for his photograph of a Banded Demoiselle dragon fly on the River Ver, captioned Don’t Get Stung by High Bills.
Rosemary Wenzerul and Sue Frearson won 2nd and 3rd prize for their photos which very effectively portrayed the problem and the solution.
Date of last review: 24 February 2016
What could you do to reduce your water consumption?
There are many ways that we can cut down on the amount of water you use:
• Take a 5 minute shower instead of a bath (saves 35 litres)
• Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth (saves 24 litres per day)
• Wash up in a bowl instead of under a running tap (saves 10 litres per minute).
• Fix a dripping tap (saves over 4 litres per day)
• Only use your dishwasher or washing machine when it is at full load.
• Save energy by only filling kettles and saucepans with what you need.
• Wash up in a bowl instead of running a tap and use another bowl of clean water to rinse.
• If you have an old style toilet, use a Hippo, Save a Flush, or filled water bottle in your cistern so that it doesn't fill to the top.
• If you are updating your bathroom, make sure you fit a low flow or dual flush toilet.
• Use water efficiency devices such as spray tap fittings and rainwater harvesting, available from the local water supplier Affinity Water
• If you spot a leak on the street, don’t leave it to someone else to make the call. Report a leak here.