I grew up on the Dorset coast surrounded by the sea and rivers, and I have always had a love for water. I enjoyed endless summers as a kid in paddling pools, the sea or playing in local rivers and I think this has been the key factor in my life both personally and in my career: I chose my university based on its proximity to a river, and my degree included the study of water and its impact on the environment, my career has followed a similar pattern, and I have always chosen sports that involve either being on or in water. It is the core element of my life, and it is that love of water that has made me passionate about my job as a Water Efficiency Project Manager at Thames Water.
Summer is a time for kids to have fun, and this should not be stopped. However, being in the job I am in I am very aware of the importance of being water smart and reducing how much water we use. This should not stop kids enjoying water, and there are many ways for parents to allow water fun in summer but in a responsible way. Sprinklers and hoses can use over 500 litres an hour, which is more than an average family will use in a day! I have kids, and here are some great water hacks that I do to save water but still let the kids have fun with water in the hot weather:
- Be paddling pool neutral. Let your kids off their evening bath if they’ve been in the pool all day! You can work out how many days of baths your paddling pool is worth (100 litres a bath). Be Water Smart
- If you the kids are having a water fight, fill buckets with water and position round the garden. Saves children leaving outside taps on and flooding your water bills or getting kitchen floors wet! Be Water Smart
- Reuse an old hand soap dispenser to fill up water balloons. Be Water Smart
- When the sun has gone in – don’t waste that precious paddling pool water! Re-use it to feed your plants, wash your car or give your dog a bath. Be Water Smart
- A week’s worth of water for one person could be held in a 6ft paddling pool but by filling only half of it you could save 500 litres of water! To keep those precious litres lovely for longer get a pool cover and a pump. Be Water Smart
Why should we worry about saving water?
Many people don’t think we have to worry about how much water we use in the UK, but the South-East of the UK is classed as “seriously water stressed” by the Environment Agency. This means we have to do whatever we can to ensure water is used carefully, in order to protect the environment and ensure there is enough to go round for all our customers, whatever the weather. We live in a country where it seems to rain a lot, London can receive less water than places like Sydney or Istanbul. There is also greater pressure on the amount of water we have available, with increasing population and changing weather patterns, making it more important for us to be Water Smart.
The water we use in our homes plays such an important part of our daily lives that it’s easy to turn on the tap without thinking about it. But to help us make sure there is enough water to go around, we need to use what we need and save where we can.
I believe that kids need to be able to enjoy water (in a sustainable way) to ensure that they grow up valuing this precious resource as much as I do, and even become the next generation of water savers.