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You are here Sustainability – Greenpages > Initiatives > Water and Wastewater

What can I do?

How to reduce water consumption and wastewater generation:

Nature needs water as much as humans do, and in times of drought, it doesn't have options to divert water from rivers or lakes the way we do, so use water consciously and with awareness for other species.

  • use a basin of water to clean vegetables and then use that water in your garden or potted indoor/outdoor plants
  • avoid leaving taps running unnecessarily
  • put a bucket in your shower at home. Instead of letting the water pour down the drain, use a bucket to catch cold water while you wait for your shower water to heat up. You can use the water for flushing the toilet or watering your plants
  • only run your dishwasher or washing machine when full, to gain optimum efficient use of the water and energy
  • put an egg timer in your shower and encourage household members to limit their shower time to conserve water and energy (for heating water)
  • never leave the tap running!  Turn it on to wet dishes before sudsing them, then turn it off, turn back on only to rinse
  • turn off the shower when lathering up and then turn on only to rinse off
  • observe the California drought approach of 'when it's yellow, let it mellow, when it's brown, flush it down' to save 1.5 - 3 litres of drinking water per flush
  • ensure you have a low flow showerhead in place. The shower feels just as good, but the water is aerated, so you end up using only 3.5 litres per minute instead of 25 litres per minute (power shower)
  • only fill the kettle with the amount of water you plan on using - this saves water AND energy

Home gardening:

  • never water during the hours of 11am - 5pm, as these are the hottest hours. Watering at this time ends up scorching the plants, as the water simply wicks through them and evaporates. Always water before 9am or in the evenings after 7pm for your plants to get the best benefits
  • mulch your garden beds with leaves/ compost/ straw, which will prevent water evaporating from the soil. A well mulched garden bed can go without water for a weekend, freeing you up to get away! 
  • don't use stones/ gravel in garden beds as they retain heat and 'boil' water off the soil during summer months, thus drying out the soil and plants
  • collect rainwater with a rain barrel situated under the downspout of your gutters, and use it in the garden. Make sure to clean out the barrel of old leaves, etc. on a regular basis so the water doesn't go stagnant

In labs at Trinity:

  • in laboratories always turn off water-driven equipment (e.g. water driven pumps/condensers) when experiments are completed
  • turn off taps in sinks when not actively rinsing or washing
  • turn down taps when washing to avoid overuse of water
  • always report/repair leaking taps or water fixtures (estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie or extension 4000 if you are on campus)

You can find additional useful water saving tips here.

Did you know?

  • An automatic dishwasher uses less hot water than hand-washing dishes, thereby saving hundreds to thousands of litres of water per annum.
  • Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth or wash your face with a washcloth can save up to 3 litres per minute.
  • A dripping tap can waste up to 15 litres of water per day; a leaking toilet can waste up to 300 litres per day!