When you turn on a tap and water flows out, it seems like a very natural process. There’s never a sense of the journey it’s been through or the energy that’s gone into the cleaning process. It’s just there. While we have probably learned via osmosis that saving water is a good idea, how hard are we really trying? Perhaps we don’t see the necessity given all the water that surrounds us in the UK and the perceived continual rain showers.
Well, water expert Cath Hassell from ech2o consultants is my latest podcast guest. It was fascinating to learn more about the UK’s system and how we can save more water by using simple technologies in our homes as well as changing our behaviour. Saving water does equate to saving energy but, as I found out, not all water is equal. Hot water has an added burden of CO2 emissions – as water still tends to be heated by fossil fuels – and this makes it more important to save hot water than cold water.
If you also consider the statistics that we only drink about 1% of the water that enters our homes and use 1-3% for cooking, you quickly see that most is needed for washing ourselves and flushing the loo.
Over the years the maximum toilet flush volume has reduced from 15 litres to 6 litres which is a big step forward. Installing the most efficient dual flush systems can allow us to save even more water. When it comes to showering, technology has almost taken us the other way! Flow rates have increased as power showers (and so on) have become available. That means a 5-minute shower could be the difference between using 35 and 100 litres. We can put that into context as the average person only uses 150 litres per day. Then there are baths to consider!
Anyway Cath Hassell not only has a brief history of water but she explains how she’s set up her own house and the water-saving habits she lives by. Listen to this interview by downloading the podcast from iTunes.