A hosepipe ban is an emergency measure to restrict water use when it's already too late. A more effective way of tackling the water shortage in South and East England is to encourage rainwater harvesting. A typical family house in the South East gets around 100,000 litres of rainwater on the roof every year, enough to flush the toilets, wash the clothes, water the garden and save half the mains water bill. A report for the Environment Agency four years ago claiming that using the water off your roof had a bigger carbon footprint than storing, purifying and piping drinking water from miles away has been overtaken by improvements in energy-conscious rainwater pumps and gravity feed systems. It is time for the UK government to make rainwater harvesting obligatory in new builds and provide tax breaks both for these and retrofits. </font>
Did you know that less than 1% of rain in the UK is collected by the water companies? That's 99% that flows down to the sea and is wasted. It makes sense to capture the rainwater that falls on your roof.