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Lockdown made Brits more conscious of water waste, survey finds

Almost a third of Brits (32%) became more conscious of their water usage during lockdown, with a quarter (25%) spotting that the amount of water they use at home increased, according to industry research.

Water Regs UK interviewed 2,000 adults to understand how much the UK public has done to avoid wasting water since the first lockdown began in March 2020.

The survey revealed that over a quarter (26%) of UK adults say they actively tried to use less water during lockdown. Water Regs UK is now urging Brits to keep their new water saving habits whilst encouraging others as part of a continued drive to reduce water waste.

Almost a quarter (23%) said they stopped leaving the water running whilst brushing their teeth, whilst over a fifth (22%) said they no longer fill the kettle, using just the water they need instead.

Top 10 water-wasting habits Brits have tried to stop doing during lockdown 

  • Running water whilst brushing your teeth, rather than turning off the tap (23%)
  • Filling the kettle up to the top rather than what I need (22%)
  • Running water whilst washing your face, rather than filling the basin up (20%)
  • Taking deep baths (19%)
  • Running water whilst washing the dishes, rather than filling the sink up (17%)
  • Running the washing machine / dishwasher half full (13%)
  • Having a bath and then a shower (10%)
  • Water games with the kids in summer (9%)
  • Not reusing water when preparing food/cooking (7%)
  • Not reusing paddling pool water (7%)

Commenting on the findings, Julie Spinks, managing director of Water Regs UK, said: “With people spending more time at home during lockdown, water usage in the home has increased over the last year, but it’s encouraging to see that many people have become more aware of the water they use.

“We all use water differently and have a part to play, so we really hope that those who have ditched bad habits during lockdown continue to think about their water usage now that normality is returning. Changing at least one regular habit, be that taking a shower instead of a bath or not filling the kettle to the top, can help prevent wasting water needlessly, which helps the environment and can save money too if you are on a water meter.

“Whilst habits play an important part in water saving, Water Regs UK also supports the use of compliant plumbing products that are designed to automatically reduce water and energy consumption, without people even noticing a difference and we encourage all plumbers to make their customers aware of them. It also important to only buy and install compliant products that have been tested to demonstrate they won’t leak.”

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