London, Feb 25 (UNI) Upto six billion litres of water can be saved every year by giving up pre-washing of clothes, experts said.
The pre-washing cycle is designed to give clothes a longer soak to shift stubborn stains, but with the advances in washing machines and improved detergents, it is no longer required, environmental group Waterwise said.
However, one in four households put every load of their laundry through pre-washing, wasting both water and money.
According to Waterwise director Jacob Tompkins, if everyone stopped using the setting, which wastes 15 litres of water with every use, it would save enough to fill 6,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
A recent survey carried out by Ipsos Mori among 1,002 people found that only seven per cent of the respondents considered water shortage as the most important issue ahead of climate change, excessive energy use and carbon footprints, the Daily Mail reported.
One in six of those surveyed admitted to flushing junk such as cotton wool balls or make-up tissues down the lavatory at least once a week, wasting about 27million litres a week on average.
A quarter said they left the tap running while brushing their teeth, wasting six litres of water each minute, or 446million litres a day.
The past two years have seen the worst droughts and floods for a century in parts of the UK. The South of England already has less available water per person than Sudan and Syria, the report said.
''We all know that climate change is happening but many of us don't connect it with the need to waste less water,'' climate change minister Phil Woolas said.
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