A new report by Waterwise, a leading authority on water efficiency, has found that despite more of us than ever making a conscious effort to save water, Britain unconsciously remains a nation of ‘water wasters’.
The 2016 Water Saving Report, which was commissioned by Ideal Standard, aims to observe water-usage habits in UK households in order to monitor water efficiency behaviours.
It found that whilst 86% of people don’t know how much water they use each day, 70% of respondents answered ‘yes’ when asked if they personally take actions to try and save water. However, when asked to estimate, just one in ten people (14%) correctly estimated their average daily consumption figure of approximately 150 litres. Over 40% thought it was less than 100 litres.
As age increases the likelihood of respondents taking action to save water increases with 60% of the 18-24 age category answering yes they are consciously take action to save water, compared to 76% of the over-65 age category. The most frequent reason given for not taking action to save water was ‘I only use the water I need’ with 51% of respondents giving this reason, despite admitting they don’t know how much they use, or waste.
The top actions taken by conscious water-saving Brits were found to be turning the tap off when brushing teeth and waiting for a full load before using the washing machine – as well as taking more showers than baths. The average Brit now showers 25 times per month and takes fewer than two baths per week. We also flush the toilet on average 6.4 times per day. The main sources of water usage in the home come from appliances such as clothes washing machines and dishwashers and in the bathroom, via showers, baths and toilets.
The report identified that the use of water-efficient washing machines (33%) and toilets (32% are on the increase and are the water saving devices owned by the highest percentage of people. 63% of people also say they take showers now instead of a bath to save water – with a further 14% of Brits say they happily share or re-use bath water. However, despite becoming a nation of ‘showerers’, nearly, three quarters (73%) of people leave showers running for an average of 1 minute 41 seconds before getting in – wasting up to 60 litres of water before every shower.
When comparing shower frequency with gender, over half of both male and female respondents shower between 5 and 9 times a week (54% and 55% respectively) with average shower duration differing by just a few seconds. The Water Saving Report also found a correlation between those who have shorter shower duration (on average 3 minutes 40 seconds) and have a water meter at their home. This compares to those who don’t have a water meter, whose average showering time more than doubles to (8 minutes 4 seconds).
On average one in ten Brits (12%) now have a bath more than five times per week
For more information on Water Saving Tips, see: www.waterwise.org.uk/pages/quick-tips.html