400 gallons (1,514 litres) of water and around 70% of that is used indoors, with the bathroom accounting for the largest share since a toilet alone can use 27%[sc:1]! The situation in Europe is a bit better with the average European using 66 gallons (250 litres) per day. However, this is still far from the 1.1 billion people in the world who lack adequate access to water and use less than 5 gallons (19 litres) per day[sc:2]. In other words, the average American uses 30.3 times more water while the average European uses 13.2 times more water than a person who lacks adequate water access[sc:2].
The West’s wasteful management of this key resource, beyond the multiple environmental consequences, also has economic implications for every household. While it is generally accepted that energy efficiency measures such as double-glazing offer a clear advantage to consumers, the same benefits are not as widely supported when it comes to water saving technologies. By introducing water saving devices in every home, households stand to curb their water bills and help conserve water resources. Here are some great solutions that provide a great return on investment:
More efficient flushing
Nowadays, standard toilets use 1.6 gallons (6 litres) per flush, but older toilets, for examples such as those before 2001, may use as much as 3.5 to 7 gallons (13 to 26.5 litres) per flush[sc:1]. In the UK alone, this difference in standards could save around 600 million litres of water a day and over 65,000 tonnes of CO2 each year[sc:3]. There is one gadget that can help bring older toilettes up to the standard of newer ones and help conserve water when flushing. One such gadget is the Hippo. It is easy to install and lasts a very long time. The Hippo is a type of polyethylene bag which can be manually placed in the water underneath the cistern float[sc:4]. When the toilet flushes, and the water confined in the bag is saved.
Water saving showerheads
We all know how important it is to turn the tap off when showering and only keep the water running when rinsing. But there is more we can do to make our showers more water efficient. Installing water efficient showerheads can save you up to 10 gallons (38 litres) of water for each 10 minute shower, depending on the model you choose. In an average family of four that adds up to 1,200 gallons (4,542 litres) of heated water per month[sc:5]. Similarly, installing a low flow faucet aerator helps minimize the amount of water that flows out of the faucet so less water is used overall.
Households also consume a lot of water for outdoor activities, primarily when looking after gardens and watering plants. It was therefore only a matter of time until innovators dabbled with updating the traditional garden sprinklers. The Droplet sprinkler helps conserve both water and energy by connecting it to a smartphone or tablet. When connected to such as the Droplet sprinkler can develop a customized water schedule for the specific garden or set of plants using information from the Droplet sprinkler’s vast data network. This tailored and targeted watering uses as little as 10% of the water of traditional sprinklers and save over $250 per year, in addition to thousands of gallons of water[sc:6].
Grey water diverter
Another way to conserve water is to divert water used in the bathroom or kitchen and reuse it for other purposes, particularly for watering the garden or washing cars. In most households, this water goes straight into the sewage but a grey water diverter can divert this water and store it in a storage vessel or connect it directly to a water hose[sc:7]. While this would help conserve water, it is important to note that this grey water is often mixed with cosmetics or household cleaners that can harm the environment in large quantities. Unless all the products that are used in the household are eco-friendly, it would make sense to opt for a grey water diverter valve. This means that instead of having a simple equal tees waste pipe splitter which is connected into the bathroom wastepipe before it joins the sewer pipe, a valve and a manual switch are added on to that so that you can choose which water can be conserved and which should not[sc:8].