The RHS and Cranfield University are calling on the UK’s gardeners to swap mains water for rainwater as they launch a new online tool that calculates the potential saving from adopting different water efficient practices on their plots.
As much as 205 billion litres of water per year – enough to fill one billion water butts – is thought to be used by homeowners outside every year with a large proportion of this attributed to gardens.
The greatest saving is thought to come from not irrigating lawns during dry spells. If just one in ten households with average sized gardens pledged not to use a hosepipe or sprinkler system on their lawns the amount of water saved would fill as many as 383 million baths.
The Environment Agency has warned if the UK does nothing to reduce its demand on mains water there will not be enough to meet demand by 2050.
Gardeners can learn more about reducing water use in gardens and pledge the actions they will take this year via www.mains2rains.uk with the total sum of these pledges set to be revealed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in September.
Ian Holman, Professor of Integrated Land and Water Management at Cranfield University, adds: “The online mains to rains pledge system aims to help our nation of gardeners identify small changes in how they water their garden or allotment that reduce mains water use. These choices will not only save time and money but benefit your garden plants and the wider environment.”