Between the rise in water bills, the floods and the drought warnings, one thing at least is clear: we need to get into the habit of using water more responsibly. So follow the GHI’s advice on how to save it and money at home and in the garden.

Description: Boiling water on tap

Boiling water on tap


·         Take showers and keep baths as a treat – a bath uses, on average, 80 litres of water. A water-efficient shower head uses around 32 litres – and saves up to $108 on water bills*.

·         Be wary of power showers – they can use up to 74 litres more than a standard version (based on an average eight-minute shower). We tried out five eco shower heads checking their flow rate and quality of experience. Our favorite is the Ecocamel Jetstorm (price: $44.9, website: ecocamel.com). Despite the low flow rate of 7.2 litres a minute, it felt powerful and invigorating (if noisy).

·         We boil the kettle 1,500 times a year – and boil one third more than we need every time. So the GHI was keen to see if the Quooker Instant Boiling Tap (quooker.co.uk) could save water and energy. Our testers used it to sterilize work surfaces, cook pasta and veg, and make soup, tea and coffee. They were impressed by its performance and water-saving potential (up to 536 litres per household a year**), but the price does start at $1,245.

·         Paying for water by the litre helps to focus the mind and cut costs. To see if a water meter could help you save, use the calculator at website: ccwater.org.uk.

·         If you’re buying a new washing machine, dishwasher or bathroom suite, choose one with the Waterwise Recommended Checkmark.

Description: Hanging baskets are pretty, but very thirsty!

Hanging baskets are pretty, but very thirsty!


·         The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) recommends putting water-retaining crystals and gels in pots and flower beds to lock in moisture.

·         Install a water butt. GH gardening ace Pattie Barron rates the Hozelock Water Butt Pump, $90 (website: homebase.co.uk) You also may be able to get water-saving devices free from your water company – visit savewatersavemoney.co.uk/freepack.

·         Water the roots rather than the leaves of plants and avoid using too many thirsty small pots and hanging baskets.

·         Go easy on moving the lawn, too – the shorter it is, the less moisture it retains.

·         Recycle laundry, dishwashing and bath water for your garden. But do use it within 24 hours, and don’t water edible plants and crops with it due to the soap and detergent residue that may be present.

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