World Water Day 2013

World Water Day 2013

International World Water Day is held annually on March 22nd, and is a public awareness day aimed to highlight the need to conserve and protect fresh water supplies. The first World Water Day was held in 1993, after it was recommend during the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and has run each year since.

Water Cooporation

Each year there is a different theme for World Water Day, with 2013's being part of the 'International Year of Water Cooperation'.

The aim of 2013 is to help raise awareness around the potential for greater access to water through international cooperation. Over 200 water treaties have been negotiated over the last 50 years, with many of them remaining in operation even during armed conflict between countries, and there is the potential to make an even greater difference through continued cooperation.

As stated on the UN's website; "Water more often unites than divides people and societies".

What this means to us

As a bathroom retailer we supply thousands of bathroom suites per month, and we take water consumption seriously.

Here in the UK and in many countries we benefit from constant access to fresh water, and it is important that we use our resources responsibly. Many people take water for granted which can result in substantial wastage every day, and we have committed to doing our bit to help educate people about water consumption in the run up to World Water Day 2013.

Our first annual Water Usage Survey

In early 2013, Bathshop321 launched our very first annual Water Usage Survey.

We contacted a section of our customer base, as well as some of the general public, and asked a few simple questions about water usage habits in the home. The aim of the survey was to understand how people treat water consumption in the home, and to identify areas where water wastage could be reduced.

In total, we surveyed 508 people, and some of the key highlights can be found below.

Which do you use more frequently? (shower vs. bath)

85% of people  prefer having a shower to having a bath

Of the 508 participants in the study, 434 (or 85%) take a shower more frequently than a bath. This statistic wasn't very surprising, with showers typically being much quicker than taking a bath. It was also encouraging to see so many shower advocates, as a short shower can typically save around 50 litres of the water.

Shower vs. Bath Statistics

How long does your shower last on average?

5 minutes or less is the most popular amount of time to spend in the shower

Delving further into the study, we asked the 434 people who prefered taking a shower how long they spent on average. 5 minutes should be an ideal amount of time spent in the shower to help conserve water, and it was perhaps surprising to see that 50% (218) of the participants actually take longer than 5 minutes (with some even taking 20 minutes or more).

Average Time in the Shower (Statistics)

How long do you run your bath for on average?

6-10 minutes is the most popular amount of time spent running the bath

Running a full bath uses an average of 80 litres of water each time, and this can be minimised significantly by running the water for no more than 9 minutes. Of the 74 survey participants that preferred a bath to a shower, 76% ran the bath for 10 minutes or less, which is extremely encouraging to see. Worryingly, however, was that 11% of participants spent 20 minutes or more running their bath. This may be down to tap pressure, but in typical circumstances this will lead to significant water wastage.

Average Time Running a Bath (Statistics)

What we can take from this

One of the great things we can take from our 2013 Water Usage Survey is that people are being relatively water conscious when it comes to showering and bathing in the home.

Although the average time spent in the shower was found to be 8 minutes, this is still relatively close to the 5 minute mark in which water consumption is kept to a minimum. Of the participants that preferred to take a bath, the average time spent filling the tub was no more than the recommend maximum of 9 minutes.

Next year we will be expanding on our survey to incorporate more questions, and we'll also be opening it out to the wider public to get involved at a larger scale. Email with any questions.

Water saving tips for the home

World Water Day isn't just about education; it's about action. Our Water Usage survey showed that the majority of our participants are being relatively water conscious when it comes to the home, however there is always room for improvement.

World Water Day is a reminder that fresh water supplies should be used more responsibly. In the home you can start to make a big difference by making only some small changes, and particularly in the bathroom where 60% of water consumption occurs.

See below for our top 10 tips to save water in the bathroom.

1. Reduce Flushes Reduce toilet flushes 1 waste bin is all you need in your bathroom to prevent unnecessary flushes of your toilet. Stop flushing make-up wipes and other waste down the toilet.
2. Monitor Water Monitor water usage 2/3 of water used in a home is done so in the bathroom. A water meter is a good way to keep track of water usage, particularly to help identify leaks.
3. Put the Plug in Use the basin plug 3 seconds is all it takes to put the plug in when washing your hands or shaving in a basin, and can result in up to 50% water saving compared to a running tap.
4. Fix Leaks Fix leaks in the bathroom 4 taps can be found in a lot of bathrooms, and for each dripping tap, 90 litres of water can be wasted every week. Be sure to fix those dripping taps.
5. Time Your Showers Reduce shower times 5 minutes should be the maximum amount of time spent in the shower to help reduce water usage. A shower timer is a good way to set a reminder.
6. Turn the Tap Off Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth 6 litres of water can be wasted every minute while running the tap. Be sure to turn the tap off while brushing your teeth to save unnecessary water wastage.
7. Use Aeration Use aerated taps 70's households used significantly less water, with consumption up 30% per person since. Install aerated taps to help reduce wastage.
8. Install a Dual-Flush Install a dual-flush toilet 8,000 litres is the amount of water that can be wasted per year by older toilets. Upgrade to a modern toilet or retrofit a dual-flush siphon to reduce wastage.
9. Run Shallow Baths Run shallow baths 9 minutes is the maximum amount of time that should be spent running a bath. After around 8 1/2 minutes you will have enough water.
10. Be Water Conscious Be water conscious 10 times or more is the amount a bathroom will typically be used in a family home per day. By being a little water conscious, you can help make a big difference.

Contributing to the community

To contribute further to our campaign to help educate people about their water consumption habits, Bathshop321 are taking a number of actions this World Water Day to help homes and local communities save more water.

Free eco products to local communities

The 2013 theme for World Water Day is 'Cooperation', and we aim to cooperate with local communities in our area to help save water in centres in which it is being used on a regular basis.

We are looking for community centres in the North West of England to come forward and contact us*, as we would like to offer completely free eco shower heads. For details, please contact

10% off water saving products for households

Eco-friendly bathroom products can help to make a substantial water saving in the home. As a bathroom retailer, we stock many products that can help to keep water wastage to a minimum, and we're hoping to encourage our customers to purchase these over our other ranges by offering a 10% discount on any eco products - including on our water saving bathroom taps.

Get involved

Are you planning to get involved and help spread the word this World Water Day?

Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, and be sure to use the #worldwaterday hashtag!

* Limited to the first 10 community centres that contact us.