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Is there a hippo in your bathroom?

Given the current “drought” here in East Anglia, the water board is urging customers to save water. Well, yes, good idea, but they say that we should be cutting down on consumption from 150 litres per person to 130 or so…and that could stave off real shortages if we have a dry summer.

Who is using 150 litres of water each? I looked at our metered water bills for the last few years. We’re a family of four in an average-sized house with water butts in the garden for the meagre plants and an “if it’s yellow let it mellow” ethic for toilet flushing. We average about 100,000 litres per year. That’s around 270 litres per day, less than 70 litres each, per day. So, a lot less than the supposed average 150 l and way below their target 130 litres per person.

Yes, we have a washing machine, yes we have a dishwasher (they’re both supposed to be water and energy efficient, although that’s something of a misnomer for such devices, I’d think). Yes, we all shower daily and yes, we drink lots of tea. We have a hippo (a sealed bag of gel in one toilet cistern) to lower the flush volume and we ditched the powershower years ago in favour of a mains pressure system and a water-saving showerhead and still get clean, honestly. I’ve also just ordered some tap flow mixers from Cambridge Water Company. But, those are smallscale savings.

So, tell me, if you’re average, how do you manage to use 150 litres of water each day?

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