When you turn on your tap, do you wonder where your drinking water comes from?
Anyone who has experienced having no water appreciates the fact that it is not always available when you want it.
In fact, there are a billion people in developing nations who do not have access to clean drinking water on a daily basis and almost two billion face water scarcity for at least one month a year.
Here in England we enjoy some of the best quality tap water found anywhere in the world.
With the majority of Kent’s drinking water coming from aquifers we are very dependent on having enough rainfall to fill them up.
So when we have a prolonged period of dry weather such as we had during spring 2017 and again in October and November last year, this can start to have an impact on the county’s available water supply.
Thankfully the start to this year has been very wet and has given the aquifers a boost. However, as we've left the winter months behind, any rainfall we get now does not penetrate the hard ground and is soaked up by the growing thirsty vegetation or evaporated back into the air.
Due to this, Kent’s three water companies all have the same message – please think about your water use only using what you need and not wasting it.
“We always ask our customers to use water wisely, but we're stepping up the messaging even more to help the recovery of our aquifers before the hot weather returns and demand increases again.” – Lee Dance, Head of Water Resources, South East Water
Get water saving freebies and tips from your water company:
"Per head of population, the South East of England has less fresh water than Morocco, so it's crucial we all do our best not to waste this precious resource." – Ben Earl, Water Efficiency Manager, Southern Water
In the water industry we're all constantly managing the water we have, whether it’s investing in new resources, installing new pipelines to move water around the network or finding and fixing leaks as quickly as possible.
There a many ways that you can save this valuable resource such as placing water butts in the garden to make the most of rain water. Rainwater harvesting is a great way to be water efficient so using one will save you money if you are a metered customer.
When you're at the garden centre buying plants, choose ones that thrive in dry conditions to help you reduce the amount you water your garden. These include: Alyssum, Geraniums, cornflowers French and African Marigolds, Petunias, Aquilegia, Campanula and Heuchera lavender.
Here are a few water saving tips that can help you save water throughout the year in the garden:
- Move containers, hanging baskets and pots into shady areas where possible
- Reset your lawn mower blades to 4cm to encourage dense bushy growth, which traps early morning dew and reduces evaporation
- When you are watering try use a watering can filled from a water butt
- Water your pots and hanging baskets either early in the morning or during the evening to reduce evaporation in the midday sun
- If you’re potting up or planting containers, use ones made from plastic, glazed terracotta or wood. These tend to lose less water than bare terracotta
- When potting up your planters use a small amount of gel crystals. They absorb water and can help retain the moisture in the soil
- Bury a short length of pipe into your pot; if you water into the tube the water goes directly to the roots where the plant needs it most
- Use mulches like bark chips or gravel to retain moisture and keep weeds down
Did you know?
Hoses and sprinklers can use up to 1,000 litres of water an hour – equivalent to more than 12 baths
The full sun symbol on plant labels indicates the plant’s tolerance to dry conditions