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24 May 2022

Households encouraged to conserve water as new survey reveals over half admit to wasting it

Households encouraged to conserve water as new survey reveals over half admit to wasting it

The research also highlights that less than one in five respondents report actively conserving water in their homes

Research commissioned by Irish Water shows that over half of Irish households (53%) admit to wasting water, even though some eight in ten (78%) know it is important to take steps to conserve it.

The research released on Wednesday May 11, coincides with the launch of Irish Water’s new, Conservation Calculator, which will assist households across the country to assess their water usage habits and find out how much water they are saving on a daily basis. It also offers useful and practical tips on how to reduce water usage and track their progress. 

The free tool was developed in response to research which shows consumers want additional tools to assist them conserve water and is available at www.water.ie/calculator

The research also highlights that less than one in five respondents report actively conserving water in their homes. 

However, almost two in five (40%) reveal that they are interested in future planned water services initiatives. This new Conservation Calculator was developed in response to this interest and will arm households nationwide to understand more readily how they use water in their home which can lead to better water conservation actions.

By answering just a few short questions about water usage habits, households of all sizes can calculate how much water they are currently saving, and what they could do to save even more.

The average water use of one person is 133 litres per day, and results from the calculator are based on the water use of typical households of similar sizes.  The Conservation Calculator provides helpful advice for those wanting to ensure they use water responsibly to improve their score rating.

Simple water saving tips include:

  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge rather than letting the tap run cold and save six litres a day 
  • Making sure the tap is off while brushing teeth can save 84 litres of water a week 
  • Reducing shower time by 60 seconds can save up to 120 litres of water every week 
  • 250 litres of water a week can be saved by fixing any leaking or dripping taps in the garden 
  • Ensure washing machines and dishwashers are full before running 

In addition, Irish Water is also continuing its First Fix Free programme which helps households that may be using higher level of water than average, which could signal a potential leakage problem. 

Together with the homeowner the Irish Water team will investigate the cause of the leak and fix the issue to curtail any further potential leaks. This is in line with Irish Water’s collaborative approach to water conservation where all working together can safeguard our precious water resources now and for the future.

Speaking at the launch, John O'Donoghue, Irish Water’s Regional Operations Manager said:

“As we move into the summer months it’s important to that we all consider our water usage and look at simple yet impactful ways to conserve water in the home.

“It can sometimes be difficult to know where to start, but even small changes can make a significant difference – and we can all play our part.

“Taking shorter showers, only running a washing machine and dishwasher with full loads, and even turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, are just some of the simple steps we can all take today to conserve water and safeguard our precious water resources. 

“Our new calculator is designed for everyone to use – and school going children will, we think, particularly like examining their water usage at home. It offers practical advice on conserving water, to ensure we have a sustainable water supply for everyone in years to come. We are encouraging everyone to play their part with us and think water conservation”. 

“We understand that historic network leakage continues to be a challenge and we are working hard with all relevant stakeholders and are on track to achieve a national leakage rate below 20% in Laois and 25% nationally by 2030 – that’s down from 46% leakage in 2018.

“Over 2,000 leaks are fixed every month by our team and local authority partners, and 166 million litres of water was saved daily during 2021 alone. Working together, we can all take steps to ensure our water is safeguarded for future generations.”

Each day in Ireland, 1.7 billion litres of water travels through a network that includes 63,000km of pipes to supply treated drinking water to homes, businesses, hospitals, schools and farms nationwide.

The treatment process is a lengthy and complex one with up to seven stages that can take up to three days to make raw water suitable to drink.

The Conservation Calculator is available at www.water.ie/calculator

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