How women waste 50 BILLION litres of water a year shaving their legs in the shower
By TAMARA COHEN
Last updated at 8:18 AM on 26th August 2011
During dry years, many of us have become accustomed to being asked to swap hosepipes for watering cans and baths for showers.
Now one supplier has gone a step further - urging women to stop shaving their legs with the tap on in a bid to save water.
British women use 50billion litres of water a year shaving, research published today reveals - enough to supply all homes in London for 25 days at a time of low rainfall, according to supplier Thames Water.
The water company has asked women who shave to switch the tap off while they do so. A third of women - ten million - leave the shower running while shaving, using on average ten litres of water per minute.
Assuming it typically takes three minutes to shave both legs and women do so on average three times a week, each is using 4,680 litres of water for shaving per year.
In a family with three women all shaving, they would use enough water in 12 months to fill a small swimming pool. Another third of the women polled said they switched the water off while they shaved and the remainder said they did not shave their legs. Simon Evans, Thames Water spokesman, said: ‘It is hard to believe that 30 litres of water can be saved simply by turning off the shower each time you shave your legs.
‘We’re not saying women shouldn’t remove hair from their legs. We’re just asking them to do it in a water- conscious way.’
Customers are being urged to be more aware of water wasted doing everyday tasks such as brushing their teeth and running the dishwasher.
Almost one in four of us leaves the tap running when brushing our teeth, accounting for around 120billion litres of water wasted each year. But it seems most are conscious of the need to control water use.
Nine in ten of those surveyed said they would feel guilty if they were wasting large amounts.
And more than eight in ten said they actively tried to save water at home, the survey of 1,800 found.
Richard Aylard, director of sustainability for Thames Water, said: ‘Come rain or shine, water should never be wasted.
‘It may seem like it’s always raining, but we’ve had below average rainfall across our region for nine of the past 12 months, while drought has been declared in other parts of the UK. Our research proves the majority of people have a “water conscience”. We now need to help our customers use even less of it.’
Richard Benyon, Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, said: ‘The more that people understand about their water usage, the more they can do to help themselves and the environment.’
Thames Water has launched Waterwisely, a website featuring a virtual town where visitors can get tips on how to save water. It is intended to help save customers up to £75 on their annual water and energy bills.