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Sustainable Water

The average water used per person per day is 142 litres in England, and despite common perceptions, we are a water scarce country: increasing population demands as well as climate change means we need to implement measures now to reduce water use and avoid further strain on the system.

How to make a change

  • Install a grey water system, which collects water from sinks, and processes this water to be redirected to your toilets for flushing. This can reduce water use by 50%, and savings on business water rates means the system will quickly pay for itself. Ensuring that the chemical balance is correct, and that the system is managed properly is an ongoing job.
  • Install tap fittings to reduce water flow, as well as water-saving bathroom devices such as dual flush toilets. As these fittings are often used more than those in homes, payback times are excellent. Have regular checks in place to make sure that taps and toilets don’t leak. 
  • Install sensor taps to avoid water running unnecessarily long.
  • Install a Cistern Displacement Device, placed in the toilet cistern to displace around 1 litre of water every time you flush. This can save up to 5000 litres per year and are available for FREE from most water companies. Flushing the loo is the second largest use of water in the home, behind only showering.
  • Educate employees on the importance and practices of water efficiency. Set water usage targets and involve staff in implementing them. 
  • Set your heating systems to turn off at night.
  • Make sure pipes are protected against cold weather as leakage can increase after a burst pipe due to frost.
  • Only fill the kettle with as much water as needed per cup of tea/coffee, which also reduces the energy needed to boil. 
  • Wash dishes in a full bowl of water, rather than under a running tap, and only when you have a full load to wash.
  • Keep a water jug in the fridge, so that you do not need to run the tap to cold each time you want a glass of water.
  • Use your water meter to set reduction targets, and monitor your progress.
  • Choose native plant species for garden spaces, which will tolerate local weather conditions without the need for excessive watering.
  • Install a water butt in office garden space, to collect rainwater and use it for watering in the warmer months.

Example Actions

  • Install cistern displacement devices in all toilets
  • Run a water efficiency workshop with employees / volunteers
  • Apply mulch to flower beds in office garden

Useful Links

Severn Trent have a variety of resources on saving water. Most local water authorities will have free resources on their websites including information on saving water.

Waterwise is an independent, not-for-profit UK NGO focused on reducing water consumption in the UK.

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