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03 November 22

Ben Fogle joins Affinity Water to launch its Save Our Streams campaign

Following droughts and one of driest summer on record, over half of brits admit not understanding the environmental impact of wasting water

  • 55% of Brits don't understand the environmental impact of wasting water in the home
  • 61% of adults unaware that a fifth (17%) of a typical energy bill goes on heating water and 68% didn’t know that shortening shower time by two minutes could save £400 on the average energy bills
  • 32% of adults not concerned about how much water they use daily
  • 51% admit they’re not entirely sure how much water they’re wasting
  • 38% of Brits using more water than they did 12 months ago despite summer droughts
  • Over three fifths (63%) of adults don't understand how the water cycle works
  • 42% of the population don’t realise water conservation now needs to be a year-round effort

Following one of the driest and hottest summers on record, and lower-than-average rainfall predicted this winter, water sources including the UK’s rare chalk streams, are under strain. However, households are not conserving water with new research from Affinity Water, the UK’s largest water-only supplier, revealing that 38% of Brits report using even more water than they did 12 months ago despite recent drought.

With the nation admitting they have increased how much they are showering (25%), watering plants more (27%), and still leaving the tap running when brushing their teeth (25%) since the summer droughts this year, Affinity Water is re-launching its Save our Streams (SOS) initiative urging customers to save water, which in turn will save them money, and help to protect the UK’s delicate chalk stream ecosystems.

Winter is a critical time for replenishing the sources of our drinking water and keeping water flowing through our chalk streams and rivers, but despite a few wet days in October it is still drier than normal, and rainfall has been lower than average for the last 6 months. The majority of tap water in Affinity Water areas comes from the same groundwater sources that flow into our local rivers and streams. Therefore, the less water we waste at home, the more can stay and support these environments.

With 55% of UK adults not knowing the environmental impact of wasting water has in the UK, Ben Fogle joined children on the banks of the river Chess today, to help the next generation break the cycle and learn important water saving habits. During the educational river dipping trip, Ben and his new classmates were able to ask experts from Affinity Water and the Chilterns Chalk Stream Project about water usage and the knock-on effect it has on the UK’s precious chalk streams.

The fact that over three fifths (63%) of adults don't fully understand how the water cycle works demonstrates that a better understanding of where tap water comes from is fundamental to achieving a nationwide reduction in excessive use. In addition to the big steps Affinity Water are taking to reduce water wastage; the company is encouraging households to do the same by taking simple steps to reduce the amount used. If everyone in the region reduced their usage by 7.5% this year, we can save a total of 17 mega-litres per day from going to waste, which is equivalent to 140 million cups of tea, 37 million pints of water, 262,500 baths of water and 8.4 Olympic swimming pools.

Saving water has financial benefits as well as ecological ones, with the research showing that saving money is the most inspiring reason to save water (36%). To add to that, just 61% were unaware that at least a fifth (17%) of a typical energy bill goes on heating water and 68% weren’t aware that shortening shower time by two minutes could save as much as £400 on the average energy bills.

With over a quarter (28%) fearing there could be a water shortage in the UK during the winter months, the need to educate and change water wasting habits are underlined. Now, Affinity Water is encouraging people to sign up to become a Stream Saver and take its water footprint quiz, find advice, and claim free water saving devices.

Affinity Water customers have some of the highest daily usage across the UK with some households using as much as 194 litres per person per day compared to the UK average of 145 litres per day. The provider’s own research has revealed that 49% of its customers admit to wasting water in their household and just 55% changed their behaviour during this summer’s droughts.

To help kick those water wasting habits and make conserving water second nature, no matter the weather, Affinity Water has compiled handy tips to start conserving water now:

  • Save up to 30 litres of hot water everyday by spending just two minutes less in the shower.
  • Save up to 20 litres everyday by only running the dishwasher when it’s full and on ECO mode. 
  • Save 10 litres per bath by filling the bath an inch less than usual
  • Save 120 litres every time you wash your car by using a bucket and sponge with cold water instead of a hose.
  • Save up to 20 litres everyday by only running the washing machine when it’s full and on ECO mode.
  • Save up to 36 litres of hot water everyday by washing up in a bowl instead of under a running tap.
  • Save on hot water by filling the basin during your daily skincare routine instead of using a running tap

Lynn McCarthy, SOS Campaign Director, Affinity Water said: “Save our Streams is not about stopping people using water; providing high quality drinking water to our customers is why we are here, but as the research shows there is an opportunity for us all to waste less.

“Making simple changes every day will have a huge collective impact on our streams, and people can also save money on their energy bills. We have had one of the driest summers on record, and despite a belief it rains a lot in this country, rainfall has been below average for more than six months. Now is the right time for a campaign like Save our Streams to encourage children and their families to become the next generation of Stream Savers and take simple steps to make water conservation second nature.”

Ben Fogle said: “During my global adventures, I’ve seen how fragile habitats can come under threat. Our chalk streams have been described as England’s Great Barrier Reef. They are 10 x more endangered than both the Bengal Tiger and the Black Rhino , and as worthy of protection as anything I’ve seen on my travels. Sometimes we take the water coming out of our taps for granted, so learning how wasting water can affect some of our most precious ecosystems is important. I’m hoping Affinity Water’s Save Our Streams initiative will encourage people to change some of those habits that they’ve fallen into.”

Join us and change your water usage at affinitywater.co.uk/waterfootprint

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