Water Facts - things you might like to know

Only 3% of the water on Earth is fresh water; only 1% is available for human use.

There is less water for each person in the UK than most European and some Middle Eastern countries.

Bottled water may cost up to 1,000 times more than municipal drinking water.

The demand for water has been growing by 1% per year for the past 75 years - on average, you use 150 litres of water a day.


Domestic water use

Approx 20% of UK domestic water is used for bathing and showering.

Consider the flow rate before taking a bath; a 10 minute shower uses half the water of an average bath. You could save 15,000 litres of water each year (based on one shower a day) or by having a low-flow showerhead fitted, you could save even more water and money.

Washing machines use approximately 14% of domestic water. In the last 25 years, their water requirements per load have reduced by approximately two thirds.

Dishwashers are more water efficient and effective than hand washing.


Running and dripping taps

A running tap wastes up to 10 litres of water every minute! So don’t leave the tap running – especially when you are cleaning your teeth.

A dripping tap can lose up to 90 litres of water every day and they are easy to get repaired.
A rapid stream of drips from your tap may waste as much as 32,000 litres of water in one year, that’s equivalent to 3,200 buckets of water.



A typical family uses 70,000 litres year on toilet flushing, clothes washing, and outside use.

About a third of treated mains water used in the home goes down the toilet.

Check for leaking toilet cisterns which can use twice the normal amount of water needed.

Some larger toilet cisterns can continue to work effectively with a smaller flush. Use a water displacement device to reduce the amount of water released each time you flush.


In the Garden

In the UK, the proportion of water used for gardening can approach 50% during the driest months.

A sprinkler can use as much water in an hour as a family of four does in 48 hours.

Use a watering can instead of a sprinkler – it’s more accurate and water at dusk to reduce the amount of water that may evaporate. Check the weather forecast first – it might rain tomorrow.

Hosepipes, like garden sprinklers, can use up to 1,000 litres per hour use a bucket and sponge to clean the car instead.

A standard water butt may collect 5,000 litres of rainwater a year. Think about collecting rain water from your roof and downpipe in water butts or buckets and then use it in your garden.