With the announcement today (12 March 2012) of a hosepipe ban covering Kent and the rest of South East England there are various water saving and water efficiency measures for your garden that can be worth investigating to ensure you have sufficient water for watering plants and vegetables during the spring and summer.

Automatic solar watering systems run off water butts or rainwater storage tanks

By collecting water using water butts or other water storage tanks such as IBC or orange juice containers you can collect additional volumes of water that can be used to water your garden during the hosepipe ban. We have used IBC water tanks for water storage and they are commonly used for water harvesting applications due to their large storage volumes and ease of stacking.

 IBC water tanks for water saving 

Image of IBC water tanks for water saving and stacked for additional storage capacity. Photo of rainwater diverter for drainpipe used to fill water butt from garage roof.

An example of a barrel that can be used much more cheaply than a water butt is this example used for orange juice costing £11.75 (as of 2012) compared to a water butt at over £30 each.

You can read more about rainwater harvesting, water saving and helping save water during the hosepipe ban here

Integrated Bulk Containers (IBC) are used for transport of various liquids either foodstuffs or chemicals and normally hold 1000 litres.

If you can get hold of IBCs that have been used for transporting foodstuffs then they make ideal water storage tanks. It is best to avoid ones used for chemical transport to avoid contamination unless the tanks can be cleaned. One side effect of the south east drought has been an increase in the generation of electricity from PV solar panels as a result of the higher number of sunny days.