It might seem surprising given the UK's recent extreme weather, but 2011 was one of the driest years on record. Great for summer holidays perhaps, but the lack of water is posing a serious problem as the New Year commences.
In a serious step, major UK water administrators South West water and Thames water have already released drought warnings for the coming year, and as the water threatens to run dry in the taps, it's never been more important to take care when it comes to your water usage.
Thankfully, boffins over in the US – where water shortages are a far more regular occurence – have invented a clever gadget to help you keep an eye on the amount of water you're using up. While with its wet reputation water shortages in the UK are rare, the first restriction to hit during our occasional long hot summers is always the hosepipe ban. The Water Saver device enables you to monitor your water usage in real time, ensuring that not a drop of water gets wasted.
A simple device, it attaches to the end of a hosepipe, and measures the amount of water that passes through the gauge, displaying the amount on a clear digital screen in gallons or litres. It's a great way of saving water by only giving plants the amount of water they need, and it'll probably surprise a lot of UK users with how much water is wasted unecessarily.
More importantly for those of us on water meters, this could be a really good way of monitoring escalating water bills – a bonus when the cost of living continues to steadily increase ahead of the average wage. More useful still of course would be a gadget to do the same thing inside your house, but maybe that's next in (hose)pipe line?
How much water do you think you waste?
Get your Water Saver here and find out.