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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Water saving tips
The average person in Britain uses 155 litres water a day - a figure that has risen dramatically in the past 30 years and looks set to continue to climb.

However there are ways in which you can reduce water consumption without too much effort.

Use our water calculator to find out how much water your household gets through in a day. Or read on for tips on saving water.

  • Turn the tap off when you clean your teeth. Wash vegetables in a bowl rather than under a running tap.

  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge so you do not have to run the tap until it goes cold.

  • Fit aerator nozzles to taps, these reduce flow without compromising use.

  • If your toilet is older than 2001 try fitting a "hippo" or other displacement device - often available free from your water company. However if it becomes necessary to flush twice you should remove the device.

  • If you buy a new toilet consider a dual flush model, these use about four litres on the lower flush and six on the full flush. Some use even less than this.

  • Do not use your toilet to flush away cotton wool balls etc, they should go in the bin.

  • Fix dripping taps.

  • A shower can use less water than a bath but only up to a point. Ideally you should use a normal shower rather than a power shower and only spend about five minutes in there.

  • Always run the washing machine with a full load so that you do fewer cycles per week. Also be aware that most half load functions are relatively inefficient as they use more than half the water of a full load.

  • Similarly, if you have a dishwasher, only run it when it is full. And do not rinse the plates under a tap first - dishwashers are designed to deal with dirty plates.

  • After washing up by hand, you can throw the dirty water on the garden.

  • If you are buying new appliances, try to go for those with the best water efficiency rating. White goods are marked on a sliding scale with "A" being the most efficient and "G" being the least.

  • Even if there is no hosepipe ban in your area, consider using a watering can rather than a hose because you can water more accurately - and if you are having to carry the water you will be more choosy about where you pour it.

  • If you do use a hose make sure it has a trigger nozzle so you can't leave it running unattended.

  • Instead of using a sprinkler, leave your lawn to grow a little longer in summer as that helps it conserve its own moisture.

  • Water the garden in the evening to minimise evaporation.

  • Install a water butt to gather rainwater.

  • Wash your car using a bucket and sponge rather than a hose as this will save a lot of water. You can even buy special car wipes that don't need any water.

Whose water is it anyway?
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