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After being without water during the recent floods, I realised how much I waste on a daily basis. Are there some simple ways I can change this?

ALTHOUGH the wet weather in this country seems to guarantee us an endless supply of water, future variations in climate, as well as a possible introduction of water charges, could see us re-assessing our approach to water usage in our homes.

So what can we do to change our wasteful ways?

Change your toilet.

In some older houses flushing the toilet represents the largest proportion of water usage, accounting for 110 litres.

Replacing your old WC with a new dual flush could save 30pc of the water.

Have a shower instead of a bath but try to cut down on the singing! Showers generally use about a third less water. In new houses, showers and baths now account for around 40pc of the water used.

Fit a water-saver shower head to limit the maximum flow rate to below nine litres per minute.

Buy an efficient dishwasher and only use when full.

Turn off your taps.

About 20 pc of domestic water flows through sink and basin taps without being used for anything. Try fitting a "tap magic" insert (see the website www.tapmagic.co.uk/).

This clever little device delivers alternating sprays depending on the flow rate.

Don't be a wasteful gardener. Water early in the morning or evening to reduce losses through evaporation.

Look into using rainwater in the garden, some neat kits are available that fit to a down pipe.

If you use a hose, fit a trigger device to it so that it doesn't continue to leak water as you potter about the garden and remember to weed regularly so that you are targeting the plants that you want to grow!

Irish Independent