Are you up for the challenge?
On average, a person uses 143 litres of water a day - could you save 5 litres a day?
We love our water and we want you to continue to enjoy using it but we need your help to keep the network flowing for everyone. Demand is higher than normal, overall our reservoirs are looking healthy but there's only so much water we can treat and pump to your homes, businesses and hospitals.
We can’t do it alone. We need everyone to play their part – small changes in water use make a big difference when multiplied by our 1.8 million customers. If every one of our customers saved 5 litres of tap water a day, that would save nearly 10 million litres. From quicker showers, changes in flushing habits to being smarter with water in the garden - whatever your lifestyle there’s lots of simple things you can do to save water.
Our top tips for saving water
Saving water couldn’t be easier.
In the garden:
- Use a water butt to collect rainwater – it could fill up with water for free 300 times a year
- Use a watering can to get water where your plants really need it – at their roots and not on foliage
- It’s best to water plants early in the morning, or in the evening, when it will take longer for it to evaporate
- Mulch around plants using organic matter such as wood chip or compost. Use stones, gravel or sea shells as a mulch to dress plants in pots. Mulching is marvellous: it deters weeds, improves soil texture and helps soil retain water
- During dry spells, focus watering on young plants as they establish, vegetable crops and plants growing in pots
- Place a stick or other marker where you have planted rambling or trailing plants – that way you know you are watering their roots
- If there is a dry spell, your lawn will not look as lush but it will recover when it rains again. If it needs mowing, set your lawnmower to cut higher and leave clippings where they fall to act as mulch
- Spending more time in the garden lets you get to know it well – which parts dry out first, which areas hold on to water, what is in shade and when.
In the home:
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
- Keep a jug of water in the fridge so you don’t have to run your tap cold
- Use a bowl for washing up / rinsing fruit and veg – then use this water for plants
- Have a shower instead of a bath
- Only use your dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load (this will save money on your energy bills too)
- Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need (this will save energy too)
- Fix leaking taps and toilets
What are you doing to save water?
- Doubled capacity since 1976
- Opened two Cornish reservoirs since 2007
- Improving and investing in the connectivity of our network to give more flexibility in supply
- Reducing water consumption at our own sites
- Halved leakage levels in our region, and have one of the lowest levels in the industry, having met our targets every year
- We’re targeting a further 16% reduction in leakage by 2025
- Investing heavily to pinpoint and fix leaks as quickly as possible, this includes employing more people and utilising technology such as high-tech monitors
Read our Water Resources Management Plan to find out how we plan to deliver water to our customers long into the future despite the challenges we face in the next 25 years. Our Plan covers both South West Water and Bournemouth Water following the merger in April 2016.
For more information about what we're doing to save water, click here.
It's rained all winter so why are you asking us to save water?
Spring this year was the sunniest since records began, and May was the driest. Our reservoirs filled up over the wet winter and we currently have plenty of raw water stored.
With the recent warm, dry weather coupled with people spending more time at home and in the garden we're seeing demand for tap water rocketing. Even though we aren’t welcoming visitors to our region at the moment, we are still treating and pumping as much tap water through the network as we were at this time in 2018 and 2019.
Demand is exceptionally high, there’s only so much tap water we can pump through the network which is why we need your help to reduce demand so we can keep the taps running in your homes, hospitals and schools.
What are you doing to help customers save water?
Over 80% of our customers are on water meters. Saving water not only helps protect our natural environment but also benefits our customers directly by saving them money on their water bill.
We offer a range of free, and subsidised, water-saving products on the Save Water Save Money website. You can order buffaloo bags that save water with every flush, shower and tap inserts that aerate and reduce the amount of water used, shower timers and more. Click here to find out more.
Mulch borders following rain to retain moisture and minimise evaporation.( It will also help suppress weeds).
B Hines ,
Place any container under the eaves of garden sheds with no gutters and use to water the garden
D Dixon ,
Save watering your plants in the garden by having a good mulch around the roots area
B Elms ,
Use watering cans to water instead of the hose pipe
S Instan ,
Save water from bath to water the garden
E Stimpson ,
If we don't finish a whole bottle of water in a couple of days , what's left goes in the house plants
M Stevens ,
If the water butt is empty and you have to use a hose to fill it make sure all the connections are tight so that there is water escapage.
C Hamilton ,
Keep the water from cooking veggies, let it go cold, then water the plants. Full of good nutrients too!
H Corney ,
Use leftover dog bowl water to water plants.
G Hird ,
Keep all your washing up water to water the garden
M Eveleigh ,
Save up your washing to make sure it’s a full load for washing machine and dishwasher
P Marigold ,
We save water by collecting the initial water from the shower as it warms up, often 1/2 a bucket.
Save rain water where possible in buckets etc for plants
E Snow ,