Money down the drain….

The Island’s Footprint Trust is backing the first UK Water Saving Week which starts this Friday (17th July 2009) with an inaugural theme that wasting hot water is ‘Money down the drain’.

Speaking for the Trust, Leah Rumble, said,

‘How many people know that we use over 16 million litres of water a day in our homes on the Isle of Wight? This equates to 125 litres per person per day, which has risen by 3 litres per person per day in the last year. 95% of the water we use is returned to drain. Around 50% of that water – 8 million litres per day on the Isle of Wight – becomes hot water for baths, showers, hand basins and kitchen sinks (excluding washing machines and dishwashers) and that is money down the drain. Even if you’re not on a water meter you are still paying to heat the water that ultimately ends up warming up your drains – great for early daffodils but not much else!’

The Trust highlights the fact that some 25% of an average home’s energy bill is spent heating up water. The average UK home has an energy bill of £1300 per year, meaning that £325 a year is spent on heating up water which then goes down the drain. By 2020, Ernst and Young predict that the average heating bill will have risen to £5000 per annum, so acting now makes sense financially as well as for the environment.

The Isle of Wight receives a quarter to a third of its water at any one time from the mainland which is not sustainable at current levels of usage. The Isle of Wight Footprint Trust, through a series of water reduction campaigns aimed at homes, businesses and schools, aims to reduce demand for water on the Island to a sustainable level that could be met by our own sources.

Leah Rumble, Water Projects Co-ordinator at the Footprint Trust, said,

‘We know that Islanders care about their environment and are becoming increasingly energy savvy but we need to get our household water consumption down to 90 litres per person per day to be truly water smart and be an ‘Eco- Island’. Many on the island use less than this each day and we can help everyone achieve this and still enjoy water but we are worried about the increasing use of hot water in the home. We ask everyone to follow our top tips for saving water.’

· Stop those drips! A dripping tap wastes at least 5 500l of water a year. You’ll waste £18 per year for a cold tap but it could be £70 per year if it’s hot – Get it fixed.

· Short, sharp showers save water! Bathers beware, a bath uses around 80 litres of water, while a shorter shower can use as little as a third of that amount. But beware as many power showers may use more than a bath.

· Wishy-washy! Wait until you have a full load before you do your washing – a full load uses less water than two half loads, so you’ll be saving energy and water.

· Check for leaks! 800 000 litres of water are lost every day on the Island through leaks on the customer side of the meter. Look on or contact Southern Water for more information.

· Do the can-can! Use a watering can where you can. Hosepipes spew up to 18 litres a minute. Better still use a water butt; plants love rainwater.
You can also make an individual pledge or a pledge to help your local school or community to reduce their water usage on the Water Saving Week website


Editor’s notes:

The Footprint Trust can be contacted on 01983 822282.