I don't recall ever having a hosepipe ban imposed so early in the year. Lack of water is normally something one associates with a long hot summernot recurring dry winters. Seeing the ground cracking from lack of water in April is not a good sign! Yet in some parts of the country that is exactly what we are faced with.
The 'finger' is normally pointed at the water companies for poor water management and leaking pipes - wasting millions of gallons of water. The pressure is most certainly on them - but I can't help feeling that a change is needed in the way the public view water.
More should be done to encourage better use of water and its management in and around the home. Much of the water used by households is wasted unnecessarily, but means of reducing this are often costly or complex to install and run.
I'd love to see an initiative introduced whereby grey water recycling was a required element of all new housing and industrial developments, whether communal or individual. Rainwater harvesting should also be compulsory with excess water managed in soak-aways on site. Ok so there would be acost to this in the short term but wouldn't the long term benefits massively outweigh those?
The changes we are experiencing now will be with us for some time - so simply doing what we have always done is no longer an option.
So what can YOU do now?
Many gardeners already collect rainwater in butts - where it frequently sits unused while the hosepipe is aimed at the borders. Consider getting a solar powered drip irrigation system
and use the water in the butt - this will get the right amount of water to where it is needed - these are great for pots, baskets and also your borders.
Mulch your borders to retain this water. While plants themselves take up water during the day huge amounts are lost to evapouration - mulch help keep the water in the ground for use by the plants.
If you are water savvy you already know that showering uses less water than a bath - though bath water is perhaps easier to recycle - maybe for flushing toilets etc - consider saving a couple of buckets of your bathwater for doing just that! You can also get water hogs for cisterns that will save 1 litre per flush - it all adds up!
I have heard it said that if everyone in London turned the tap off while they brushed their teeth enough water would be saved to fill the Albert Hall - that's a lot of water!
Changing our attitude to the precious liquid that is water is the first step - so what are you going to commit to doing differently from now on to make a difference?