Conserve water, protect wildlife

Conserve water, protect wildlife

Aquatic plants in River - Linda Pitkin/2020VISION

Protect our rivers and the wildlife that live in wetland habitats by saving water.

Whilst some may only think of saving water in the warmer months, it is integral to conserve water in colder weather too. On average, we use around 140 litres of water per day, each! And when the weather starts to cool down, we increase the amount of hot water we consume in the home to keep warm. In 2012, the Department of Energy concluded that, 

"heating water is the second-largest source of energy use in the home (next to heating our homes)". 

The amount of water consumed by humans is detrimental to wildlife and our wetland habitats. In Hertfordshire, much of the water sources which feed wildlife are at risk from lowered groundwater levels due to abstraction and climate change.

Hertfordshire cares for 10% of the world's chalk streams, which create fantastic habitats for wildlife due to their mineral-rich and clean flows. Rivers and chalk streams in Hertfordshire are under pressure to supply our homes with water, leaving low flows which cause numerous problems for the habitats and wildlife existing there. The springs that feed water into our rivers depend on the same aquifer used to supply water to our homes and businesses. When too much is pumped to supply public needs, our rivers suffer and start to dry out.

60% of our tap water comes from the aquifer that feeds our chalk streams. The other 40% is pumped directly out of them. Every drop we use at home or work is one drop less in our rivers.

Broadwater Lake Nature Reserve

© Tim Hill

So, what can you do to save water? 

Our partner, Affinity Water, have created top water-saving tips for in the home and the garden:

At home

  • You can save 6,500 litres of water a year by turning off your tap while you brush your teeth.
  • A power shower can use up to 17 litres of water a minute! Get a free eco shower head and shower timer from Affinity Water and save over 7,000 and 1,800 litres a year respectively. 
  • Make sure you only put on your washing machine and dishwasher once they are fully loaded – this uses much less water than two half loads.
  • If you have a dual flush toilet, use the half flush button whenever possible! You can also get free Save-a-flush bags from Affinity Water to pop into your toilet cistern which saves over 5,000 litres a year!

In the garden

  • Install a water butt and save up to 5,000 litres of water a year by using rainwater instead of tap water – better for water use and your plants!
  • Water your plants early in the morning or at the end of the day, directly onto the roots, to stop them immediately evaporating in sunlight and heat.

Find more water-saving techniques here