Down the drain

Earlier this week, research by Thames Water revealed that women waste 50bn litres of water each year shaving their legs.

The story, perhaps unsurprisingly, featured in couple of nationals, including the Daily Telegraph,  Daily Mail and even the Times of India, as it made for a catchy read.

According to Thames Water's survey results, a third of UK women leave the shower running while defuzzing their pins - wasting enough water to supply London for 25 days, prompting Thames Water to very politely ask the women of Britain to please turn off the shower while shaving, in a bid to save at least 30 litres of water per shower session.

Meanwhile, Thames Water continues to tell us that one in four of us leave the tap running while brushing our teeth (I presume they don't just mean women here), wasting a further120bn litres of water a year.

However, on the plus side 90% of respondents said they would "feel guilty" about wasting water while 82% said they actively try to save water at home.

While leaving taps unnecessarily running is an obvious waste of water (and I hardly think leg shaving women are just to blame here) what the report failed to note is the billions upon billions of water wasted each year by water companies.

In fact, Ofwat statistics show that Thames Water wasted 669.9M litres of water a day in 2009 - 2010 through leaks alone, while six water other major companies failed to their meet water leakage targets for 2010-2011.  

Hairy legs aside, the real purpose of Thames Water's press release was in fact to unveil its new interactive tool, Waterwisely, which allows users to calculate their water use and gather water saving tips.

I decided to have a go and calculated that I use around 187 litres of water a week at my property, (there are just two of us, with no garden or car) which is below the Government's target of 260 litres of water per household, and below the 328 litres a week Thames Water have calculated the average household uses.

Saving water is clearly something we should all be doing but, in my opinion, Thames Water's latest piece of research is quite bizarre as it not only chastises women for daring to shave their legs in the shower, but it also seems to indicate that they are the UK's main water wasting culprit.


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Carys Matthews

Topics: edie
Tags: | opinion | water
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