Saving water

child turning off an outdoor tap

Why do we need to save water? Practise your reading in English with this text.


Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the text and do the other exercises.

Reading text

Saving water

We need it to drink, wash, cook and flush the toilet. Farmers need it to grow our food. Factories need it to make the products (and their packaging) that we buy. Power stations need it to produce the energy we use. Yes - it's water! And we use a lot.

That's OK – there's a lot of water on our planet!

True! But did you know that we can't use most of it? That's because it's salt water (in seas and oceans) or freshwater which is ice or in the ground. In total, we can use less than 1 per cent of all the water on the planet!

So why is it a problem now?

Well, the world's population is increasing really fast, so more and more people are using water, and more and more water's being used to make food, products and energy for those people! And we mustn't forget that things like climate change and pollution are also bad for our water supply. We're starting to use more water than our planet can give us - which means one day, we might not have enough. So let's start saving water now!

Did you know?

  • Up to 2,700 litres of water are needed to produce one cotton T-shirt, and up to 12,760 litres for one smartphone!
  • Coal, gas and nuclear power plants all use water to produce our energy.
  • By 2050, the amount of water we use is predicted to be 55 per cent more than in 2000!

Seven ways to save water

  1. Turn off the tap. Don't leave the water running when you're not using it, for example when you're brushing your teeth.
  2. Don't play with water. It's fun but it wastes a lot of water.
  3. Take a shower instead of a bath. Baths use more water than showers. But try not to spend more than five minutes in the shower!
  4. Water plants carefully. Don't water them when the sun is strong. Morning or evening's better.
  5. Don't waste food. If you make a meal, don't make too much, or eat the rest the next day!
  6. Don't waste products. Reduce, reuse, recycle instead! Reduce the number of plastic bags you get. Reuse things like boxes and bottles. Recycle instead of throwing in the bin!
  7. Don't waste energy. For example, turn off lights when you leave a room.

What other ways can you think of?


How do you, your friends and family save water? Tell us some more ways to save water!

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English courses for children aged 6-17

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