Water, Water, (Not) Everywhere...

Posted on 1 August 2006 in Life (No comments)

Tucked away in a corner of the BBC News website recently was a little story about how Thames Water were thanking people for saving water during the current water problems. Apparently demand dropped by 176 million litres a day in June.

Of course that's a (warning - pun alert) drop in the ocean (sorry) compared to the daily leakage rate of 894 million, and of course, some of that saving comes from the hosepipe ban. However Thames Water are sure that the hosepipe and sprinkler restrictions are only part of the savings, which means people are out there changing their water usage habits.

People like Catherine and myself in fact. Which means its an opportune moment to review how our own water saving has been going.

Well first thing to say is that despite the heat, the hanging baskets are not only coping, but they're generally looking good.

Of course I'm giving them a good dose of water, despite the addition of "swellgel" to the soil. The baskets seem to be using less water, but more noticeable is in my pot plants. Both tubs - one full of petunias, the other full of rocket - are doing well, and even on hot days, the soil feels reasonably damp. Neither are needing particularly huge amounts of water to keep them going - a contrast to my herb troughs which where planted in 2004 and have no swellgel in them.

The plants are of course, being watered with some cooking water, and water collected when running taps to get hot water. This is generally giving us between 25 and 33% of our plant water - less of course in hot weather. Collecting run off water is a bit haphazard due to containers not always being in the right place at the right time - if I run a tap in the bathroom and there's nothing to collect it in, I have a tendency just to shrug.

As for the lack of toilet flushing "when it's yellow", well that seems to be working out as well.

The real test will be when the bill comes, but of course the only real way that we'll stop the standing pipes being rolled out is if we're all cautious. Water is too precious in the south east to waste.

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