Hose down

Save water outdoors

Private gardens cover one quarter of the area of a typical UK city1. And whilst we receive our fair share of rain, during drier periods, those spaces need a bit of extra support from our outdoor taps.

With water supplies under pressure from the effects of climate change and population increase, there are plenty of ways to not only save this precious resource but also save a little money for a rainy day.

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Water

You may be surprised to learn that even if you live in a notoriously wet and rainy country like the United Kingdom, droughts are a very real problem - especially as climate change is likely to bring us ever drier summers.

This problem is intensified by the fact that not only are there more of us, we’re also using more water per person than ever before - 143 litres per day in 2020 compared to 85 litres per day in the 1960’s2.

Washing a car with a hosepipe will guzzle down around 450 litres of water against a gentle sponge with a few buckets of water which uses more like 30 litres.

We can also make the most of the thousand of litres of water that literally fall onto our roofs. Collecting rainwater in a tank can not only be used to water the garden, but to wash windows or cars too.

1 hour

of using a lawn sprinkler can use as much water in an hour as a family of four uses in a day3

Money

For those of you on water meters, putting down the hose may provide a bit of extra money for a rainy day.

Watering your garden with a hose is three times more expensive than using a watering can. And of course if you water your garden or clean your car with rain water from a butt, you’re not paying anything at all.

Energy

Every drip of water from our taps has been through an energy-intensive purification process.

Water is drawn either from rivers or deep underground. It is then processed at water treatment works, then sent miles along pipelines to reach our homes.

A lot of energy, chemicals and infrastructure are used in this water treatment process. So the less water we use, the less of these resources we consume.

How

Use water wisely:

  • Golden lawns: to save the use of water-guzzling sprinklers, leave your grass in the safe hands of mother nature. Letting the grass grow longer in dry spells can actually be beneficial as it helps keep moisture in the soil.
  • Water when it’s cool: watering your garden during the coolest part of the day means more of the water reaches the roots before evaporating away.
  • Drought-resistant plants: your garden will need less watering with hardy plants prepared for dry spells. Just remember that during their first year they will need just as much watering as your other plants!

Re-use your water:

  • We like big butts: rather than using processed clean water, use rain water to keep your garden green and your car shining.
  • Grey water: waste water from showers, baths, washing machines and washing up bowls is known as grey water and can happily be used to water gardens. Just make sure the water is cool before it is used on plants.

Put the hose down

  • Brush it away: to clean patios or driveways simply use a broom to sweep away debris then rinse it down with a bucket of water instead of using a power hose. It’s a good work out too.

Others for the bucket list: washing your car takes a lot less water using a sponge and bucket, and similarly using a watering can on the garden is much better than a hose.

Success Stories

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