Water Usage Survey
How Much Water And Money Are You Wasting?
Water is a marvellous thing; it keeps us hydrated, it keeps us clean and it helps grow the food we eat.
What many people don’t know is that the demand for water is increasing at a tremendous rate, yet the supplies are limited. If nothing is done over the coming decades, the water people take for granted today will become a luxury.
To raise awareness of water wastage, and thus money wastage, we surveyed 1,000 people from the UK to see how water-efficient they really are. We hope this survey opens your eyes to the amount of waste that can be prevented, and how you can help the environment and your bank balance. Here were our key findings from the survey:
Wastage: 7,300 Litres Of Water Or £70.81 Every Year
The first question we asked people was do you turn the tap off whilst brushing your teeth? If you don’t, you’re part of the 35% of people who don’t in the UK.
You might not think this is such a big deal, but if you brush your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes (as guided by the Dental Health Foundation), and take the average amount of water you use whilst your tap is running for that time (12 litres), leaving the tap running wastes around 10 litres of water every time you brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth twice a day with the tap on, this wastes 20 litres per day.
20 litres of water per day, which is £0.19.
7,300 litres of water per year, which is £70.81.
If you turn the tap off, you can save 7,300 litres of water and £70.81 a year.
18-24 Year Olds Are Least Conscious
What is also interesting, from the people who answered that they leave the tap running, is that as people got older they started to turn the tap off.Although awareness needs to be raised for everyone, it is evident that people in the 18-24 and 25-34 categories are wasting more water whilst brushing their teeth than those who are older.
Wastage: 20,440 Litres Or £198.27 A Year
Secondly, we asked people if they generally took a shower or a bath. It can be relaxing to have the occasional bath, but if you have them too often, the relaxing feeling will soon be lost when you realize how much money you’re throwing down the drain. Our survey showed that 22% of people would generally have a bath instead of a shower. An average bath uses 80 litres of water - which equates to £0.78 - whereas having a three-minute shower uses 24 litres of water and equates to £0.23. That’s less than half the amount of water and cost of having a bath.
Let’s compare the usage over the cause of a day and a year to see potential savings:
Usage & Cost
80 litres of water per day, which is £0.78.
29,200 litres of water per year, which is £283.24.
24 litres of water per day, which is £0.23.
8,760 litres of water per year, which is £84.97.
If you converted from baths to showers, you could end up saving 20,440 litres of water and £198.27 a year.
Females Take 11% More Baths Than Males
Looking into who are the worst offenders for having baths, it is evident that females take an extra 11% more baths than males
Taking A 3-Minute Shower Instead Saves 17,520 Litres Of Water - £169.94 A Year
Next we asked: “how long do you shower for?”. After you’ve shampooed and conditioned your hair, washed your body and had a sing-song, time can fly. Almost half of our respondents, 46%, take a shower between 3-9 minutes, and 24% of people take 10-19 minutes.
If you take an average of the results, the average time somebody takes a shower is 9 minutes.
Usage and Cost
72 litres of water per day, which is £0.70.
26,280 litres of water per year, which is £254.92.
8,760 litres of water per year, which is £84.97.
If you were to take a 3-minute shower over a 9-minute shower, you could be saving 17,520 litres of water a year, which is around £169.94.
Males Take 1.5 Minutes Less Than Females In The Shower
So who takes longer in the shower, males or females? The results show that, on average, males take 1 minute 30 seconds less than females. A full break down of this is displayed below.
Fix It And Save 1,095 Litres Or £10.62 Each Year
Dripping taps are a nuisance and are generally one of those tasks you always say you’re going to fix but never get around to. So we asked the people taking part in the survey: “do any of the taps in your household drip?”. 21% of the people we surveyed said they have at least one.A drip might not sound like much, but it can add up. At a rate of 10 drips a minute from one tap, you would be wasting around…
3 litres of water per day, which is £0.03.
1,095 litres a year, which is £10.62.
If you have more than one dripping tap, you can times these numbers by how many dripping taps you have, to see how much wastage you have.
Dripping Taps Are More Common In Younger People’s Households
From looking at the people who answered yes they do have a dripping tap, it is evident that as people get older, the less likely they are to have a dripping tap. Do the younger generation need some DIY lessons? If they knew how much money they were wasting, I’m sure they’d fix a dripping tap.
Potential Savings: 2,920 Litres Or £28.32 Every Year
A whopping 45% of people don’t keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge. This is significant because running your tap to get it cold for a nice glass of water can take an additional 6 seconds. Instead, keep a bottle of water in the fridge, so that it’s always cold.
Whilst you’re waiting for the tap to get cold, you’re wasting around…
Usage & Cost
1 litre of water per glass, which is £0.01.
If you’re having the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, over a year you’re wasting:
2,920 litres per year, which is £28.32.
Potential Savings If You Did – 24,000 Litres Of Water Or £232.80 A Year
30% of people said they do harvest rain water, which means a massive 70% of people don’t. Harvested rain water can be used for several things, including watering your garden and supplying the hot water system in your house. How much you can save in terms of water and money depends on what type of rain-harvesting water system you have.
There are three main ways to harvest rain water, which include a water butt, a roof system and an underground system. The cheapest option to implement is a water butt, which is connected to your roof’s guttering, and come in sizes between 100 and 400 litres. They are fairly inexpensive, or if you look on websites such as Freecycle, you can pick them up for free.
By harvesting rain water, there is the potential to save 24,000 litres of water a year, or £232.80.
Obviously, how much you could save largely depends on many factors, including how much it rains in a given month and how much water you use on your garden.
If we look at the people who do harvest rain water, it is evident that people start to do this more as they get older. The exception to this is 18-24 year olds who are keen to harvest rain water.
Summary Of Our Findings On Water Usage And Wastage
Hopefully, we have highlighted how much water and money can be saved by making small changes in your life. Whether it’s turning the tap off whilst you brush your teeth, or spending less time in the shower, you’ll save both money and our precious environment.
To download the raw data for this survey please go here.
Save Water - Give To Charity
Take action from this survey and see how much water & money you can save. With the money you save why not consider donating some to water charities who help people with no access to clean water. For a list of charities you can support please see here.