After a few of the driest years for decades, water companies have finally announced an official drought in some parts of Britain. So what does it mean for people in the South East and Northamptonshire?
If things continue this way, without the rain we need, we could face water shortages and rationing. But one way to avoid it is to save as much water as we can. If we carry on as normal, we risk having a terrible summer with no water for our gardens and – potentially – standpipes in the streets!
I’ve written about saving water and saving money on your water bills before, but it’s worth covering again in detail. Here’s a load of sensible tips about saving water in the home and garden.
- mend every leaking cistern and dripping tap in your home. It’s amazing how much water you’ll save that way
- forgo baths and take short showers instead. Time yourself, and don’t leave the shower running for too long before you get in
- if you have a bath, run a shallow one
- don’t leave the tap running while you clean your teeth, wash your hands etc
- wash up in the sink rather than using loads of water in your dishwasher
- fill your washing machine up rather than washing half-loads
- buy a gadget to put in your loo cistern to save water when flushing… or use a brick!
- boil as much water as you need in your kettle rather than filling it to the top every time
- buy a gadget to fit inside your shower head to save water
- contact your utilities supplier and see if they offer any water-saving advice or free gadgets – many do
- water your garden by hand instead of using a hose. Plants that’ve been there for more than 2 years probably don’t need watering anyway
- add mulch to your beds – a layer of organic material, whether it’s compost or pebbles, will help the soil retain water
- if you need to water plants, do it in the morning or evening when it’s cooler and there’s less evaporation
- let your lawn go brown – grass is incredibly resilient and will eventually grow back under most circumstances
- longer grass needs less water, so adjust your lawn mower so it cuts higher. Longer grass is great for wildlife and insects too
- buy a water butt (or several) to catch any rain that might fall
- teach your kids good water-saving habits