Lifting the lid on how people waste water
A survey by the consumer watchdog CCW has revealed “unusual and often wasteful” water-use habits in UK homes.
According to CCW’s report, Lifting the Lid: The Secrets of Our Water Habits, some of the most common habits included flushing the toilet twice after taking a poo (90%), using the washing machine or dishwasher when it is not full (67%), taking a bath or shower to cool down (66%), washing an item of clothing that was not dirty (65%), and staying in the bath so long it needed topping up with warm water (59%).
The results also varied by region: of almost all the various wasteful habits surveyed, Londoners were the most likely to admit doing them, whether it was taking longer showers than needed or running the taps while going to the loo.
"It’s up to the water sector to help guide households towards simple actions that can make a big difference when it comes to saving water.”
The report found that one person in five in England & Wales runs the tap to drown out the sound of them using the toilet, and a whopping 29% of people admitted to running the shower for longer than they were actually using it, ‘just to get [some] peace and quiet from family or housemates’, while the more musical (38%) said that they had spent extra time running a shower because they were singing.
CCW said it was using its findings to help shine a light on ways people can save water and play their part in easing pressure on water resources.
Taking a shower immediately after a bath (21%), having three or more baths/showers a day (20%) and running the shower to get creases out of clothes (15%) were some of the less common behaviours people said they had displayed at least once.
Positively, more than six out of ten people (63%) who responded said felt they could be more water efficient, with 18 to 34 year olds particularly conscious of the need to save water.
Karen Gibbs, senior leader for the environment at CCW, said, “What our findings reveal is that many of us are wasting water without even realising. It’s up to the water sector to help guide households towards simple actions that can make a big difference when it comes to saving water.”