Skip links

Our tips to reduce water consumption

Water is a precious resource. According to a UNESCO report published in 2021, “global freshwater use has increased by a factor of six over the past 100 years and continues to grow at a rate of roughly 1% per year since the 1980s”. Taking into account climate change and global population growth, “blue gold” is a dwindling resource. Here is a series of good practices to adopt to preserve this increasingly precious natural resource. 

Watch out for leaks

According to the Portuguese water company (EPAL), a faulty tap or flush can lead to a waste of water ranging from 2 to 100 m3 per month. To check that none of your sanitary appliances are leaking, read your water meter before going to bed and check the next day that the figure has not changed. Also be sure to regularly compare your water bills to identify a potential invisible leak in the pipes.

Adopt a reasonable consumption

In the context of domestic use, the most important use of water is associated to hygiene (bathing and showering – around 39%), according to a report by EPAL and the Portuguese National Energy Agency (ADENE). It is therefore essential to adopt a sensible behavior, which includes giving preference to showers over baths and turning off the water when brushing one’s teeth or soaping up. 

Invest in innovative equipment and appliances

There are many innovations on the market that can help you reduce your water bill and limit waste. Starting with an eco-friendly shower head, which allows you to control the water flow (stop the water so you don’t have to set again the right temperature). Some even have filter balls to improve water quality. For toilets, it is recommended to adopt a dual flush or place a water saving bag in the tank. As for the taps, it is possible to install a water saving aerator, which will reduce the water flow without neglecting the comfort.

Recovering rainwater

More and more landlords are investing in a recuperator to use rainwater to water the garden or flush the toilet. While rainwater has financial and ecological advantages, it is also a good way to preserve your pipes. Indeed, rainwater is softer than spring water. However, this practice is particularly regulated: for example, in Portugal, network water and rainwater use cannot be mixed. It is therefore necessary to find out about the regulations before initiating the project.

Gardening without exaggerating

The water consumption induced by the maintenance of a garden can be considerable. Therefore, it is recommended to water in the evening or early morning to avoid evaporation and not to water unnecessarily, ideally with rainwater. Another recommendation is to switch to a programmable drip irrigation system, to control water consumption and adapt it to the needs of your garden.

Smart Fact: Water in Portugal

In an article published in 2019, the Expresso newspaper reported that the average daily water consumption per capita in Portugal was 187 liters. This figure places Portugal in 2nd position, tied with Greece, of the European countries consuming the most water per day per capita, just behind Norway. However, Norway has the second largest availability of soft water in Europe, while Portugal ranks 9th… it is urgent to adopt the right behavior!

Would you like to know more about sustainable construction in Portugal? Download for free our white paper!

Photo: Imani on Unsplash

Leave a comment