The UK already has less available water than most other European countries and the average person uses a staggering 150 litres per day. Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the British Environment Agency gave a strong warning earlier this year that the country is approaching the ‘jaws of death’ as parts of England are at risk of running out of water within 25 years.
The ‘Love Water’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of water and the role everyone plays in protecting it. It is the first time that such a large group of partners have joined together to work with businesses and consumers to tackle issues such as pollution and wastage. The campaign is part of the British government’s Year of Green Action.
The long-term campaign is led by bodies including the Environment Agency, Water UK, Ofwat, NFU and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) among others. It will feature events and initiatives, such as beach and river cleans-ups and water saving projects, designed to engage the public and encourage them to enjoy water and the environment. Futhermore, businesses and other companies to get involved through promotional activity while pledging to do their bit to save water and protect the environment by reducing pollution and waste.
£100 million each year on clearing blockages
Many people in the UK are not aware that actions like tipping waste liquids down roadside drains, flushing wet wipes or washing up greasy pans in the sink harm wildlife and affect water quality by causing pollution in local rivers, lakes and the sea. The campaign will raise awarenedd of the small changes people can make to achieve a big difference:
- The UK water industry spends £100 million each year on clearing blockages caused by the wrong things going down sinks and loos. In February, United Utilities spent 8 weeks clearing a 90 tonne fat berg beneath the streets of Liverpool – more than 84 metres long.
- Research by Keep Britain Tidy shows that 1 in 4 people admit to littering. Last year, a spring beach clean organised by Surfers Against Sewage removed almost 66 tonnes of litter from beaches across the country.
- 72% of people surveyed said they used wet wipes, although most brands are not flushable and can cause blockages and pollution when they get into sewers. • One litre of oil poured down the sink can pollute one million litres of water.
- If everyone in the UK turned off the tap when brushing their teeth they would save 1,584,000,000 litres (1584 megalitres) a day.
Further information is available on the website of Water UK.