Water efficiency for groups and businesses

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NI Water is supporting Waterwise and the annual Water Saving Week, Monday 29 April - 5 May by asking customers to be smarter with their water.

Although our planet is covered in water, only 1% of it is actually drinkable. Approximately 51% of water supplied to customers in Northern Ireland comes from impounding reservoirs.

The remainder comes from natural loughs (41%, mainly Lough Neagh), rivers (7%) and borewells (1%).

Anna Killen, Environmental Learning and Outreach Officer at NI Water comments: “Whilst Northern Ireland has a reasonable amount of rainfall, we still need our customers to be ‘waterwise’ and realise the importance of conserving water; especially businesses when it could reduce the cost of their bill.”

If you are a community group or business NI Water’s education team can offer a free talk on water efficiency and supply you with some water saving devices such as a ‘save a flush’, a waterbutt and shower timers. NI Water’s top ten water saving tips include:

1. Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth - A running tap can use 6 litres of water per minute.

2. Taking shorter showers - Why not challenge yourself and your family to shower one minute quicker? In a year you could save up to 10,000 litres of water! Take a shower instead of a bath - One bath can use up to 100 litres of water, whereas an efficient shower uses under 50 litres. But remember power showers can use more water than baths;

3. Car washing – use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose;

4. Lawns are great survivors - a sprinkler can use as much as 1,000 litres of clean drinking water in a single hour; more than a family of four would use in a whole day. Even when they look dry and brown, they’ll spring back with the first heavy rain;

5. Using a bowl for washing vegetables - You can reduce water waste by using a bowl to wash and prepare your vegetables. Then you can use the water to rinse your recycling bin.

6. Making full use of your washing machine - Half load programmes on washing machines use more than half the water and energy of a full load, so wait until the machine is full before switching it on.

7. Turning off the tap - Simply turning off the tap while washing your hands or shaving can save over 6 litres of water every minute!

8. Fixing leaking taps - A dripping tap can waste more than 60 litres of water per week.

9. Keeping a jug of water in the fridge - Planning ahead means there is no need to run the water until it gets cold.

10. Filling the kettle with only as much water as you need - This will save water and energy.

By making small, mindful changes to our daily habits, we can all do our part to save more water now, to help sustain it for our future generation of water users.

NI Water’s education team can offer community groups and businesses a free talk on water efficiency and supply you with some water saving devices such as a waterbutt, a ‘save a flush’ and shower timers. Email education@niwater.com to book a visit.

NI Water’s water efficiency pages can be found by logging on to http://www.niwater.com/waterefficiency.asp