How to save water in the kitchen - Grand Designs Magazine
Use our water calculator to calculate how much water you use

How to save water in the kitchen

Use this calculator to see how much water you use, and get advice on ways to reduce your usage

Promotional Feature By Victoria Purcell |

In partnership with Quooker 

The average person in the UK uses 143 litres of water per day – that’s nearly two full baths of water. According to the #SaveWaterCleanClever campaign by Finish, sustainable water use is 110 litres a day, which means the UK population needs to ‘drop 33 litres’ a day.

But Waterwise has gone one step further, calling on the Government to adopt a national target to bring personal water use below 100 litres per day by 2050, in order to meet the commitment made in The 25 Year Plan for the Environment (published in 2018).

So how can you reduce your daily personal water usage by 33-43 litres? First, use the below water calculator to see how much water you use per day…

How much water do you use at home?

If you’re worried about using too much water – or think you’re already a water-saving champion – use the water calculator below to see how much water you use…

How to save water in the kitchen

Follow the advice below on how to save water in the kitchen and you’ll find it easier than you think…

1. Fix a dripping tap

Potential water saving: 15 litres a day

Across the UK alone, some 460 million litres of water is lost through dripping taps every year – that’s enough to fill 184 Olympic-sized swimming pools. A single dripping tap wastes at least 5,500 litres of water a year, or 15 litres a day – that’s almost half way to your water saving target! You’ll save money, too – a leak of one drip per second can increase your annual water bill by 6%.

Save water in the kitchen and bathroom by fixing dripping taps

Fix that dripping tap and you could save 15 litres of water a day. Photo: Jeff Allen from Pixabay

2. Run a full load

Potential water saving: 30 litres a day

Washing machines use 50-60 litres of water per cycle, so wait until you have a full load before using. Not only will you use less water by doing fewer, larger loads, you’ll save energy – and therefore money – too. Running three full loads of washing a week (using around 165 litres of water) instead of six half loads (using around 330 litres) will save you about 24 litres of water a day. The same goes for your dishwasher – hold off running it until you have a full load of dishes. A modern dishwasher uses 11-13 litres of water per cycle on average, so if you run the dishwasher half full, you’re effectively wasting six litres of water a day. Make sure your dishwasher or washing machine is capacity suitable for your household, and use the eco setting when you can for further water savings.

3. Careful with the kettle

Potential water saving: One litre a day

Some 70 million litres of boiled water are thrown away every day in the UK – that’s nearly a litre of water for every person (the Office for National Statistics estimated the UK population to be 67.1million in mid 2020). Many people boil more than they need either because they’re worried about limescale at the bottom of the kettle, or because they don’t really think about how much they need. There’s certainly no need to empty and re-fill the kettle every time you boil it. To eliminate the guessing game, you could also invest in a hot water tap so you only use the exact amount of water you need. Some boiling water taps offer both hot and boiling, meaning you don’t need to run the tap long enough to reach the desired temperature. This is a really easy way to save water in the kitchen.

save water: only boil the watwer you need when filling the kettle

Some 70 million litres of boiled water are thrown away every day. Photo: Abbat1 from Pixabay

4. Washing veggies

Potential water saving: 15 litres a day

Rather than leaving the tap running to rinse your vegetables, fill a bowl with a small amount of water and scrub with a vegetable brush. Running the taps can waste around 15 litres of water per minute. If you cook every day, and spend one minute washing your veggies, that 15 litres of water wasted a day – maybe a little more when prepping a Sunday roast. Then, when you’ve finished rinsing, use the water in the bowl to water the plants.

5. Reuse rain water

Potential water saving: 34 litres a day

Reusing rain water can be a huge water saver. The average UK roof collects 85,000 litres of rain a year – that’s 233 litres per day that you don’t need to run from the tap, and enough water to fill nearly 450 water butts per year. Sure, you wouldn’t want to bathe in it, drink it or even rinse your veggies in it, but if you install a water butt in the garden and you can use that rainwater for weekly tasks like washing the car (which can use up to 100 litres of water), watering the garden (based on using three 5-litre watering cans, the average garden soaks up 15 litres of water per day) and cleaning the cat’s litter tray or fish tank (another 30 litres if you’re running the tap for two minutes). Those three household chores alone add up to 235 litres per week, or 33.5 litres a day.

Save water: Reuse rainwater for water-heavy jobs like washing the car and watering the garden

Reuse rainwater to wash the car and water the garden. Photo: Rony Michaud from Pixabay

How much water could you save?

Follow each of the above steps and you could save up to 95 litres of water a day (including the weekend car wash). Achieve just half of that and you can cut your water usage to below 100 litres a day, hitting Waterwise’s target for sustainable personal water usage way before 2050.

For more useful hints and tips on saving water at home, see

quooker save water campaign with Grand Designs magazine