Our water supply is fragile. Last summer has illustrated that. The occurrence of long dry spells is going to increase. Local rainwater storage can help.
These can be fitted without planning permission to an existing downpipes. It takes a few pounds to fit the interruptor to the pipe and into the butt. You can now use a can to water but you might prefer a system that delivers just enough water to the roots of plants, or short, 1 – 2 metres, rows of veg, through bleed pipes.
See irrigatia.com to put just the right amount of water where it does most good, and no wasteful hosepipes.
Deep rainwater storage
If you’re re-landscaping your garden you might want to consider hiding a rainwater storage tank underground.
Far more expensive than a water butt but with storage capacity of 15 – 50 butts.
See graf-water.co.uk particularly the flat Platin version.
Grey water recycling
Grey water re-use is directing shower, sink and bath waste water to, for example, flush the toilet. See this Guardian article but it involves quite a bit of re-plumbing