The story behind the headlines...
As shown on “Drinking Our Rivers Dry?” on BBC Panorama the McRobie family reduced their water consumption by almost 50%, from 443 litres to 227 litres a day. What the programme didn’t show was how they did it... In fact, none of the talking heads on the programme actually mentioned the important role that behaviour change can have on reducing water stress in the UK and yet it is free, empowers the individual, and crucially reduces CO2 emissions produced when heating domestic water as most savings from behaviour change result in shorter showers or shallower baths.
There is a target to reduce water consumption from an average of 150 litres per person per day to 130 litres, a reduction of 20 litres per person. As the programme showed, even families that use at or near the UK average can still make easy savings, purely by changing behaviour. To save water successfully you need to understand how much you use and where, analyse where the easiest savings can be made, and then put that knowledge into practice!
As Jamie explains (in his excellent post on the programme on the Panorama Blog:
“Before we thought about our water usage our typical use was as follows:
- we didn't time our showers,
- the Kids had nice deep baths
- we put the dishwasher on every night irrespective of whether it was completely full
- clothes washing sometimes happened with half loads
- used both buttons all the time on the dual flush toilet
- ran water just to flush waste food through the waste disposal unit
- sometimes we would use the hosepipe on the garden (quite rare mind as most of the time we would use water from the water butt)”