10 Tips For Reducing Your Water Footprint

10 Tips For Reducing Your Water FootprintPhoto: © JIRI REZAC / WWF-UK

Large areas of the UK are currently facing drought, with many already feeling the impact – from farmers to water companies. Just the other day we noticed how low the River Thames is at the moment. In the future, less rainfall and more unpredictable rainfall patterns are the anticipated climate change impacts in the UK.

This suggests that we may have to start thinking about the future of our freshwater systems, and start making changes to water usage now – ranging from our individual water usage to protecting our freshwater reserves.

On a global scale, freshwater ecosystems are under threat from increasing water pollution and a growing human population – with 2.3 billion people already living in river basins under water stress. Add climate change into the mix and our water future looks very unpredictable.

10 Tips For Reducing Your Water FootprintPhoto: © CHRIS MARTIN BAHR / WWF-CANON

So what are the individual actions you can take to reduce your water footprint? Here are our top 10 tips:


  1. Eat more vegetables and less meat as vegetables have a smaller water footprint.
  2. Use a watering can instead of a hose pipe when watering your plants or garden.
  3. Collect the water from your drains in a bucket and use it to water your plants.
  4. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.
  5. Make sure your dishwasher and washing machines are full before switching them on.
  6. Shorten your showers, if possible.
  7. Wash your dishes in a sink full of soapy water rather than leaving the tap running.
  8. Where possible drink tap water instead of bottled water (this has more to do with your water footprint than water usage, and a lot to do with reducing plastic waste!)
  9. When cooking, boil one item and steam the other over the same pan.
  10. Invest in a water-saving toilet and a water-saving showerhead.

10 Tips For Reducing Your Water FootprintPhoto: © JIRI REZAC / WWF-UK

Best of all, these steps are simple actions that will not alter your lifestyle – except for maybe your spending an extra five minutes watering the garden! And if everyone adopted them, we would collectively have a great impact. You’ll even save money on your bills by putting the washing machine on less regularly!

With this in mind, WWF’s Earth Hour campaign highlights the importance of individual action to help protect our brilliant planet. It encourages people to switch off the lights and think about the impacts of the daily actions we take – from how we travel to work, to (in this case) how much water we use.

For more information on Earth Hour and to sign up to take part (by simply switching off the lights off on 31 March at 8.30-9.30pm), visit their website at wwf.org.uk/earthhour. It might get you thinking about your individual environmental impact, even beyond your water usage…