Do you know how much water you use every day? If the answer is yes, then you are in a minority as a new survey has revealed that 78 percent of Brits have no idea of their daily water use.
The survey was carried out by Water UK and water efficiency experts Waterwise to assess just how knowledgeable the country is about water. The answer was not very.
On average, a person gets through 142 litres of water per day. And yet 45 percent of respondents said that they believed their household used under 20 litres. In fact, a family of four uses close to 500 litres.
17 percent said that their usage was between 20 and 39 litres per day with 15 percent going for 40 to 59 litres. Figures that were all a long way away from the true answer.
People aged between 18 and 34 were the most unaware, with 66 percent of that age category believing their daily water use to be under 20 litres.
Whilst vast swathes of the United Kingdom have no idea about their daily water use, 68 percent of those who took part said that they want to reduce the amount of water they use to help the environment.
That the country is willing to cut back on its water use is good news for protecting supplies. A House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report from July warned that Britain’s taps could run dry by 2040 because of climate change and a lack of focus on leak detection and emergency pipe repair.
Nearly three billion litres of water were lost to leaks on the UK’s pipe network every day in 2019-20. The industry regulator Ofwat has said that leakage figures must be reduced by 16 percent before 2025, part of a targeted reduction of 50 percent from 2020 levels by 2050.
Saving water is not only good for the planet, but the bank balance too. Cutting water use means reduced water bills, something which many households would benefit from in these tough economic times.
Water use has soared following lockdown with people now spending much more time in their homes. A relatively hot summer has placed further demand on existing reserves with parts of the country having supply problems during the August heatwave.
As a result, the water industry launched the Water’s Worth Saving campaign to educate consumers about their usage and how they can help preserve resources. Companies are now pleading with the government to do more to embed water efficiency in the minds of the nation.
They want the Environment Bill to introduce legally binding water efficiency measures, such as building regulations which cut water waste in new developments and labels on appliances to show how water efficient they are, similar to those found on electrical devices which detail energy use.
Speaking after the results of the survey were released, Water UK Chief Executive Christine McGourty said: “The results of this survey illustrate the importance of our Water’s Worth Saving campaign to show the public the value and importance of saving water.”
“It’s been a typically unsettled British summer, but we’ve also seen periods of very hot weather in parts of the country. This combined with more people at home and the surge in ‘staycations’ has seen record levels of water demand and has put huge pressure on supplies.”
“But there are things we can all do to save water and small changes can make a big difference. Whether it’s reusing the water from a paddling pool or taking a shorter shower, we all have a role to play in ensuring we have enough water now and for future generations.”
The poll also revealed that 35 percent of adults say they try to save as much water as possible with 12 percent saying they make no effort at all.
42 percent of UK adults are worried about parts of the UK running out of water in the next 25 years and 63 percent said they always turn the tap off when brushing their teeth.