Despite this country’s reputation for rain, many parts of England have been relatively dry over the past couple of years. Consequently, what passes for drought (although not a patch on what is endured in some parts of the globe) and issues of water consumption and conservancy are regular topics of interest.
The BBC have published a water calculator. Based on the estimates I plugged into it, this household of of two uses 96 litres per day per person. That is well under the average but still a substantial amount – the large water butt in the back garden is 190l, which gives a very clear impression of just how much that is!
I can see a few ways of bringing the level down a bit, although we’re already taking quite a few measures to reduce usage. For example, for for the past few weeks, we haven’t used any water directly for watering the garden; it’s all been grey water (the greyer stuff goes on the shrubs and ornamentals and the almost clean or clean savings go on the crops for consumption). Therefore, that 190l water butt, which is used as an overflow from the one we already had and to save the cleaner grey water if we don’t need it immediately, has been a worthwhile investment in keeping our overall usage down.
I’d be quite amenable to having a water meter fitted – not only do I think we’d actually be better off (the survey suggests that Jane and I come to 120l / day less than average British consumption) but it would also provide a more accurate way of gauging what we actually do use. Meanwhile, we will still avoid being wasteful with our usage and working plenty of tips (like the toilet rhyme I learnt on the Selfsufficientish site that led me to the calculator: if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down!) into our living habits.