With water-saving becoming ever more important, what are the technologies that could be incorporated into homes now - and in the future?
1. Recirculating shower
Re-doing the bathroom? Why not consider installing RainStick, a wifi-enabled shower that captures, cleans and recirculates water in a closed loop.
The multi-award-winning Canadian company that makes RainStick says the system saves up to 80% water and 80% energy by recycling the heated water within the shower system itself. They have received recognition for innovation from the Interior Design Show, Consumer Electronics Show and BlueTech Forum.
2. Smart water metering
Water utilities and customers alike want to know how much, where, and when water is being used to help reduce water and energy use and - of course - their bills. This is no surprise when the average person in the UK uses 142 litres a day.
Smart water metering from Waterfall records household data on water pressure, temperature and flow, not just daily or hourly, but every time someone turns on a tap, flushes a toilet or runs a washing machine. The technology is being piloted with UK water companies - you heard it here first.
Water-saving technology is not only about grand redesigns or top-of-the-range products. For as little as £3 you can retrofit 95% of taps and showers with flow restrictors and aerators.
The nozzles have small holes that separate water into different streams jetting in the same direction. Mixing in air as the water flows out increases pressure, but reduces the volume of water used from 18 litres per minute to eight, according to Tap Warehouse. Yes please!
4. In-house water recycling
Netherlands-based company Hydraloop has invented a technology that has already featured in Netflix documentary Brave Blue World. It can be installed in homes to use water again and again.
Ideal for new-build houses and apartments, Hydraloop collects, treats and reuses water from showers, baths, washers and dryers, heat pumps and air conditioning units. Instead of using traditional filters and membranes, the Hydraloop system uses a combination of processes including biological treatment and disinfection with ultraviolet light to treat the water.
Depending on the configuration and user behaviour, the company says up to 45% of total in-home water consumption can be saved - an efficient and affordable way to use a lower volume of mains water and reduce water taken from the environment. It just makes sense!
5. Smart water butts
Water butts are always great for collecting rainwater for gardening, but did you know they can also help reduce flooding? Camellia smart water butts - which are being pilot tested in London, UK - can predict heavy rainfall and are remotely triggered to discharge stored water in advance - ready for use as storm water storage tanks.
They also feature soil moisture monitoring and intelligent watering for gardens and vegetable patches. The wi-fi connected water tank acts as a buffer between water running off the roof and the sewage system.
By reducing the amount of rainwater reaching drains and sewers, they can help prevent flooding and reduce pollution incidents. Of course anyone with a water butt can help by checking the weather forecast and manually draining their rainwater storage tanks.