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Water Saving Week 2020 –  Adapting To COVID-19 

Water Saving Week 2020 –  Adapting To COVID-19 
12 May 2020

Waterwise, an independent authority on water efficiency in the UK, is adapting its water-saving advice to the current situation.

Water Saving Week 2020 is being held between 11-15 May,  focussing on the link between climate change and water efficiency. Vitally, this year the not-for-profit body’s water-saving guidance also reflects COVID-19 considerations.

According to Waterwise: “We know COVID-19 is dominating your thoughts and work at present, and public health comes first. At Waterwise we will continue to keep the flag flying for water efficiency, and we are adapting our work and water-saving tips for the current extraordinary situation.”


Why is saving water important?


The UK has less available water per person than most other European countries.

Waterwise states that London is drier than Istanbul, and the South East of England has less water available per person than some African countries. Even Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England have experienced water scarcity in the last few years.

Climate change, population increases and changes in lifestyle have led to increasing pressure being put on our water supplies. As a result, it is more important than ever that we take care with how we use water. Waterwise is urging us to take positive action now, to help to ensure that there is enough water to go around: for our neighbourhoods, for our businesses and for the environment.




Waterwise are offering the following tips below:


Working from home and/or self isolating?


Many of us will be spending more time at home due to the current circumstances around the COVID-19 virus. It’s vital that we follow the handwashing guidelines and other measures recommended by Public Health England, which can be found here.


At home


  • Collect water used from cooking. Once it has cooled you can use it to water plants with. Or if you’re boiling vegetables, use this water to start a soup
  • When refreshing a pet’s water bowl, use the old water on house plants rather than pouring it down the drain
  • Keep a jug next to the kitchen tap to collect any water that you run when waiting for the tap to heat up. You can use this to water your houseplants or in the garden
  • A quick iron or hanging it up will freshen any shirt that you’ve been wearing for the online meetings rather than throwing it in the wash


In the bathroom


  • Choose to take a shower rather than a bath. As long as you keep it short you will save water
  • Plan on doing a home workout today? Plan to have your shower after your workout – and make it a short one
  • Put on your favourite 4 minute song and try to shower before the song ends 
  • Try turning the water off in between washing your body, shampooing and conditioning. To go one step further, place a bucket in the shower with you to collect any excess water – you can use this to flush your toilet 
  • Avoid shaving with the shower or tap running – use a small bowl of water instead
  • Fancy a relaxing bath? Don’t fill it to the top and when you’re done save the water and use a bucket to flush your toilet or water non-edible plants
  • Did you know between 5-8% of toilets are leaking? Why don’t you check to see if yours has a leak. Use a bit of food colouring in the cistern before you go to bed and check to see if your toilet bowl water has changed colour in the morning. If it has, you know you’ve got a leak. Make note to get this repaired when we are out of self-isolation
  • Research suggests that your hair thrives when you don’t wash it as much. Why don’t you use this time at home to try and reduce hair washing or use dry shampoo instead. This will not only save you water but shampoo and conditioner too




  • If you are lucky enough to have a garden use this time to plant some drought-resistant seeds. Some great examples are Lavender, Agapanthus “Silver Baby” and Anchusa azurea. Take a look at some more options here
  • Out in the garden watering your plants? Make sure you use a watering can instead of a hose – a hosepipe can use up to 1,000 litres of water an hour
  • Make the most of the fact you’re not driving as much and don’t wash the car


Picture: A photograph of a person drinking a glass of water

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 12 May 2020


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