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UK Heatwave: Thames Water urges household to control their water usage

Wednesday 13th July 2022 08:17

A blue watering can waters flowers

  • Thames Water is urging residents to control their water usage and limit consumption around the home 
  • Households are being advised to take shorter showers and limit use of the garden hose in a bid to reduce water usage
With temperatures set to rise to record levels this week, Thames Water is urging residents to control their water usage and limit consumption around the home where possible. 
Prolonged spells of hot weather increase the demand for water, putting a strain on the network and accelerating the draw on rivers, underground aquifers, and water stored in reservoirs.
Thames Water is offering advice to households on how to limit their water usage and help to prevent any future shortages. This includes simple routine changes such as taking shorter showers, reducing use of the garden hose and turning taps off when brushing your teeth. 
Research released today by Thames Water and YouGov reveals that rising temperatures and its effect on the supply of water is an issue causing concern among adults in England. Over three quarters (76%) think it’s possible parts of England will experience water shortages in the next 20 to 30 years.
It’s changing the way they think about water too; more than a third (38%) say they would be motivated to use less water to protect rivers and the environment, while almost as many would cut back to make sure there’s enough water available for future generations (35%) or to help avoid a drought (31%).
Andrew Tucker, Water Demand Reduction Manager at Thames Water, said: “During spells of hot weather, water usage can often rocket, with hoses and sprinklers watering gardens and paddling pools filled. That makes it even more important to be mindful of water usage to ensure there’s enough to go around for everyone.”
“While we’re not currently expecting to introduce restrictions on water use this summer, it’s important that households remain responsible with their usage and help us to limit the pressure on our resources.”
  • Take shorter showers. On average, a shower uses around 10 litres of water a minute. That means a 10-minute shower can use 100 litres of water. If a family of four reduced their shower time by just one minute, they could save up to £45 on metered water bills and a further £52 on energy bills every year.
  • Swap your hose for a watering can. You can keep your plants happy and still save water by swapping the garden hose or sprinkler for a watering can. A sprinkler can use as much water in half an hour as the average family of four uses in a whole day. Using a watering can in your garden could save up to 4,050 litres a year, that’s equivalent to more than 50 full bathtubs. 
  • Don’t water when the sun’s out. Avoid watering plants when the sun’s out and temperatures are high to help minimise the amount of water evaporating. Water early in the morning if you can as evening watering encourages the slugs and snails to come out at night.
  • Turn off the taps while you brush your teeth. A running tap uses on average 6-8 litres of water a minute. That’s over 14 pints straight down the drain – so an easy change to make a big difference is turning off the taps while brushing.
  • Fix leaky loos and dripping taps. Leaky loos are usually caused by a faulty flush valve or fill valve inside your cistern tank. A leaky loo can waste an average of around 400 litres of water a day. That's equal to five full bathtubs or around £350 a year. 
  • Go the full load. Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher or washing machine. This will not only save on the amount of water you use, but it’ll lower your energy use – helping you reduce your bills. 
Households can also find a free water saving calculator on the Thames Water website where they can work out how much water and energy they are using and receive tailored advice on how to save.
Thames Water remains committed to maintaining the supply of water to households during these times, including its most vulnerable customers. More than 280,000 customers are listed on the priority services register who would struggle to get by should their home’s water supply be disrupted. 
Customers can find out if they qualify for the priority services register and sign up by visiting Priority Services or calling 0800 009 3652. Relatives, charities, and carers can also visit the priority services webpage.
Thames Water is the UK's largest water and wastewater services company, serving 15 million customers across London and the Thames Valley.