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How to save water during a heatwave

| Gerry Rowe

This summer has been one of the hottest on record for the UK. News headlines have been full of heatwave reports and hose pipe bans. But despite the ‘excessive’ heat warnings, we were asked by a lovely couple having a drain installed in Bracknell, "how are we supposed to stay cool, keep our gardens watered, and save water at the same time?" Well, believe it or not, it is possible to save water during a heatwave.

How to save water during a heatwave.
How to save water during a heatwave.

Here are my top tips.

Install a low-flow showerhead.

Or take shorter showers; the choice is yours. Because the weather is so much hotter during a heatwave, we tend to take more showers. However, an extra 5 minutes in the shower every day could waste another 20-40 gallons of water down the drain. To help reduce the amount of wasted water, it is best to install a low-flow showerhead or take shorter showers. Both of these solutions can save significantly on your water usage and lower your monthly bill, too!

Be mindful when watering your garden.

Did you know that around 50% of your household’s water consumption is used in the garden? Luxuries such as hoses and sprinklers, while keeping your lawn well-watered and luscious, can drastically increase your monthly bill and be a huge waste of water.

During a heatwave, it is important to be mindful about when and how you water your garden – particularly if there has been a hosepipe ban. The best way to water your garden during the summer is by using rainwater from a water butt and watering your plants at the very beginning or end of the day to ensure your plants stay hydrated for longer. Another helpful tip is to only water your lawn if you can see footprints several minutes after walking on it, like the fact the grass won’t spring back up afterwards is a sign your lawn is dehydrated.

Be wise when washing your dishes.

Modern dishwashers are great water-savers and can get your dishes thoroughly washed without creating too much wastewater. However, if you do not have the luxury of a dishwasher and you wash everything by hand, don’t rinse under an open faucet. Instead, buy an in-sink rack and spray down all your soapy dishes at once. This saves a lot of time and a lot of water before you get to giving your dishes a good old-fashioned scrub. What’s more, it can also reduce the likelihood of drain blockages – which is a significant benefit!

Don’t flush your toilet unnecessarily.

So, we all know not to keep our taps running while brushing our teeth, but do you know about flushing the toilet unnecessarily? Perhaps you blow your nose and flush the dirty tissue down the toilet instead of putting it straight into the bin. This would be considered unnecessary flushing, so it’s worth being aware of how often you flush your toilet so that you can be intentional about saving water in your home.

Take showers, not baths.

Showers are much more efficient than baths and should always be your first choice if you want to save water during a heatwave. However, you should always keep your showers as short as possible (4 minutes is advised) and avoid running the faucet for a long time before getting in. And trust me, this is far easier done during the hot weather when most people prefer cold showers anyway.

Cool tap water in the fridge.

Most of us prefer cold drinks during a heatwave to a hot cup of tea. For cold drinks, I would recommend filling a jug with water and placing it in your fridge. This means you won’t have to run your tap for a long time to get the water cold. It saves a lot of money, saves a lot of time, and saves a lot of water. What could be better than that?

Be smart about your cooking.

When cooking, it is possible to save water and be smart about how you use it. One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to reuse the cooking water you boil vegetables in and adding it to sauces, gravy, or stocks. Not only is it a great way to save water, but it is also a nice way to add more flavour. If you don’t need the leftover water, why not wait for it to cool and use it to water your plants?

How are you saving water?

Saving water during a heatwave is so important and will help you work towards helping the environment. What’s more, it will save you money on your monthly water bill and what could be better than that?

 

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