Water-saving tips for businesses

How you can be more water-wise at work

"We need to change our attitudes to water use. It is the most fundamental thing needed to ensure a healthy environment but we are taking too much of it and have to work together to manage this precious resource."
" Industry must innovate and change behaviours in order to reduce demand and cut down on wastage – and we all have a duty to use water more wisely at home. "
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency

Save money

Cutting your water use can go a long way to reduce your water bill if you’re on a meter.

Reduce waste

Reducing water use also means reducing waste water, which is a double benefit for both your bill and the environment.

Help the environment

Saving water benefits the environment by helping to preserve natural resources and supports corporate social responsibility.

Lower carbon

It also helps reduce your carbon footprint, helping you achieve your carbon reduction targets.

Measure | Minimise | Maintain

We’ve developed a three-step process to help you measure your water use, minimise your waste and maintain the results.

Before you start making long-term savings you need to understand how much water your business is using. The following checks will give you a clear idea on your water use.

Locate your water meter

Take regular readings. This will help you spot any unexpected increases in use and identify issues.

Review your recent water bills

It pays to carefully track your bills to see if they’re going up or down.

Identify where you’re using water

Note down all the key areas of water use – inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs

Check key areas of water use

Look for any leaking toilet valves, overflowing urinals and dripping taps. Amazingly, a small leak of just six litres per minute adds up to £8000 a year.

Speak to your team

Ask your employees about their own water use and see if they have any great water saving ideas of their own. 

Once you’ve worked out how much water your business is using it’s time to identify ways to save.

Here are a few ways we’ve helped other businesses reduce their bills.

Find and fix leaks

Take a thorough look at both your supply pipes (those between your building and water meter) and distribution pipes (those that take water around your building). Be sure to check all stop taps too.

Prepare for winter

Burst or frozen pipes can cause your business major headaches and costs. Ensure all your pipes and tanks are lagged well in advance of winter and insulate hot water pipes to retain heat and save even more money.

Install water efficient devices

Have you got flush bags in your toilets? Do your taps have flow regulators? Are you using water efficient showerheads? If not, installing these devices will quickly save your business water and money. What’s more, if your business pays corporation tax you may qualify for the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme.

Educate your employees

The most effective way to reduce your water is ensuring your employees are doing their part. Make sure water issues and leaks are clearly communicated internally and place posters around your building to encourage water saving behaviour.

Did you know?

The Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme provides tax relief on water efficient products for business that pay corporation tax.

Short-term wins are great, however long-term change should always be your goal.

Here are a few top tips to help you cut your business costs and reduce your water use over the long-term.

Set up a maintenance programme

Now you’re aware of your water usage, keep a regular check on taps, toilets and pipework to identify leaks early.

Monitor your use

Continue to calculate your average daily use to see if you’ve reduced your water consumption.

If you have, be sure to communicate this to your employees and thank them for their efforts.

Check your energy bills

It’s not just your water bills you’ll reduce with good water use, so be sure to see if there’s been a positive effect on your energy bills too.

Celebrate your success

Share your success with your employees and community through a Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

If you’ve seen some amazing savings you may even wish to enter your business for an Environment Agency Water Efficiency Award.

Making your business water efficient

Adopt water efficiency best practice

We’ve seen businesses that adopt water efficiency best practice enjoy savings of up to 30% of water costs.

Identify when usage increases

An increase in use could indicate a leak or process problem. The more you monitor, the quicker you’ll fix the issue.

Get your employees involved

Encouraging teams to change their habits, report problems and share ideas will have an immediate impact on your water usage.

Check out your competition

Benchmarking your use against similar businesses, as well as your other sites, gives a quick indication of your efficiency.

Average water use in various industries

Examples of how much water various business and service sectors use.


Service sectors
Typical usage per year
Hotels 30m3 per bed space
Offices 0.6m3 per m2 
Restaurants 0.05m3 per cover
Retails outlets 0.6m3 per m2
Colleges/universities 0.6m3 per m2


Production sectors
Typical usage per tonne
Paper production 22.5m3
Frozen fruit/veg production 6.0m3