One of the aims of the Chale Community Project is to reduce water use in Chale by 15%.
In May, Leah Rumble of the Footprint Trust will be giving a talk on water (and money!) saving tips at the Project HQ near the Green.
Did you know?
Why do we need to care?
The average person on the Isle of Wight uses 125 litres of water a day. This takes into account cooking, cleaning, washing and flushing. This has been rising by 1% a year since 1930. This consumption level is not sustainable in the long-term.
The anticipated impacts of population increases, more intensive demands on water supplies and climate change mean the UK will face increased water stress in the future.
People can’t stop using water, but we can stop wasting water. The key to water efficiency is reducing waste, not restricting use. About one third of the water each person uses on a daily basis is wasted – it runs straight down the plughole or down the toilet without being used. It is this wastage we want to cut down.
Saving water will not only help the environment, but if you are on a water meter it will save you money on your water bill, and it will save you money on your energy bill if you reduce your hot water consumption.
Often the easiest route to efficiency is making things work right in the first place. Here are some tips about how not to waste water – with thanks to Waterwise:
Inside your Home:
Drop a hippo in your cistern: About a quarter of all the clean, drinkable water we use in our homes is flushed down a toilet. If you're in the market for a new loo, consider buying a water efficient toilet or one with a dual flush. If your loo is still as good as new, put a hippo or other displacement device into the cistern to save some water. Give your water company a ring; they can give you one of these devices for free.
Healthy teeth, healthy rivers: Remember to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth - a running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute. If the entire adult population of England and Wales remembered to do this, we could save 180 mega litres a day-enough to supply nearly 500,000 homes.
Stop those drips: A dripping tap wastes at least 5,500 litres of water a year: that's enough water wasted to fill a paddling pool every week for the whole summer. Mending your dripping tap washer could save you over £18 a year.
Fill up those dishwashers: Hand-washing dishes typically uses about 63 litres per session; if those dishes are rinsed off under a running tap the total water used averages 150 litres-in comparison, a modern dishwasher can use as little as 15 litres of water per cycle. But make sure you fill the dishwasher or you'll be wasting even more than if you were to wash up by hand. And if you're in the market for a new dishwasher, have a look at our rankings to help you buy a water efficient model.
Bathers beware: A bath typically uses around 80 litres, while a short shower can use as little as a third of that amount. But beware since many power-showers may actually use more than a bath. You can minimise your water use by reusing your bathwater to water your houseplants or garden.
Short, sharp, showers save water: By using a shower timer you can increase your awareness of the amount of time you spend in the shower. Try taking shorter showers to reduce the amount of water you use.
Wishy-washy machines: Before starting your washing machine, wait for a full load - a full load uses less water than two half loads; so, you'll be able to save money on energy and water. If you are looking to buy a new washing machines we've helped you make your choice by ranking all machines available on the UK market by water efficiency.
Frigid water: Fill a jug with tap water and leave it to cool in your fridge. This way you don't have to run the tap for ages just to get a cold drink.
Burst pipe preparedness: Check out where your main stop valve is and make sure that you can turn it on and off. If ever a pipe bursts, you'll know how to cut off the flow.
Sparkling asparagus: By washing your fruits and veg in a bowl rather than under a running tap, you could cut down on water waste effortlessly. And as an added bonus, you can use the leftover water to feed your houseplants.
Rubbish for rubbish bins: Try to avoid flushing away cotton balls, make-up tissues, and those pesky spiders-throwing them in the bin will cut down on the amount of water that is wasted by every flush.
Outside your home:
Be sprinkler savvy: We all love our gardens, but sprinklers can use as much as 1,000 litres of water per hour - that's more than a family of four can use in a whole day. Using your sprinkler early in the morning or late in the evening will mean less water will evaporate from your garden and more will get to the roots, where you actually want it to go.
You can with a watering can: Your hosepipe can spew as much as 18 litres of water a minute. By using a watering can in your garden you can significantly reduce the amount of water wasted; or consider fitting it with a trigger gun to control the flow (although during a hosepipe ban you will need to use a watering can).
Invest in a butt: Your roof collects about 85,000 litres of rain each year which then just runs straight into the sewers. This could fill 450 water butts with free water: you could water your garden, your houseplants, or wash your car for free! To get a butt, call your local water company.
The bucket and sponge approach: Rather than washing your car with a running hosepipe, try using a bucket and sponge instead. (Better still: fill the bucket up with water from the water butt). Just 30 minutes with a hosepipe will use more water than the average family uses in a day. And, using a bucket will give your car a much more precise wash
Magnificent mulch: Mulching is one of the greatest things you can do for your garden. Mulches such as pebbles, gravel, cocoa shell, chipped bark, and grass clippings should be applied as a five to eight centimetre layer; but do avoid mulching too close to plant stems as this can lead to rotting in winter. Mulching will not only keep away water-loving weeds, but it will also keep the soil cool, decrease evaporation, and reduce soil compaction
Soak, don't sprinkle: Giving your plants' roots a good soaking once or twice a week in dry weather is much better than lightly watering them every day because most of that water just evaporates away. Do remember, though, that new plantlings do need regular watering until they are established.
Current water supply situation on Isle of Wight:
There are not enough indigenous resources on the Island to supply everyone during a drought and so we transfer water from the mainland, under the Solent and to the Island. This water is used to rest the indigenous sources on the Island during the winter and also to assist with the peak summer demands, some of which arises from tourism.
Although many options have been considered for the development of resources on the Island, the current strategy stills makes use of the existing transfer mains which were recently replaced and upgraded. The way the island’s water supply is managed is:
Every summer flows in the Eastern Yar fall below the minimum residual flow conditions. When this happens Southern Water augments the river flows by pumping groundwater into the river. By doing this the flows in the river increase and we are able to continue to abstract water from the river. To manage water resources and mitigate any potential problems with the supply of surface water, Southern Water will continue to utilise the transfer mains so that more water is pumped from the mainland to maintain supplies.
Current water supply situation in Hampshire South:
On other side of the Solent, the Environment Agency has recently completed a review of the River Itchen Habitat and concludes that this important chalk river needed extra protection, particularly during times of low flows. Therefore they are proposing to make changes to a number of abstraction licences along the river (for more information on the importance of England’s chalkstreams, see the WWF’s Rivers on the Edge. Click here
The proposed plan will ensure that by 2015-20, the Environment Agency will introduce a “hands-off” flow, so when water gets down to a certain level, Southern Water will no longer be able to abstract water from the river Itchen this will have a massive impact on the availability of water both in Hants and the Isle of Wight. So Southern Water is now looking at different ways in which they can maintain supply. Read more about the work that Southern Water is doing on the Isle of Wight to secure the island’s water supply for future generations: Click here
In addition to this...
Population growth on the Isle of Wight is set to increase – 10,000 more new homes are expected between 2008 – 2026
PUSH – the Partnership for Urban Southampton (an area between Soton & Portsmouth) is anticipating that 80,000 new homes will be built by 2026.
Eastern Yar will probably dry up more quickly depending on what rainfalls are like in the future – a short intense rainfall in winter may not recharge ground water in the same way.
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