Government carbon campaign turns attention on water wastage

A Defra campaign set up to persuade the public to curb carbon emissions is now asking people to consider cutting their water use too.

Water shortages are a serious concern for the UK, but convincing people to tackle the issue is an uphill struggle in a country renowned for its damp climate and where water is seen as a limitless resource.

But because it is so densely populated, parts of the country receive less water per person than Syria.

Meanwhile, despite England's reputation for wet weather, London sees less rainfall per year than Rome or Paris.

TV presenter Kate Humble will be heading up the campaign which calls on people to cut consumption by 20 litres per day.

The national daily average for water use is 150 litres.

"Water is a precious resource but we all waste too much of it. Saving water at home doesn't need to be a big sacrifice - just spending one minute less in the shower can make a big difference," said Ms Humble.

"Simple changes can really add up to a better environment - meaning more water for the wildlife and countryside around us as well as saving on carbon emissions generated in the treatment and transportation of water to our taps."

Tips include switching off the tap while brushing your teeth (six litres per minute), cutting the time spent in a shower (nine litres per minute) and washing the car with a bucket rather than hose (16 litres per minute).

Environment Minister Huw Irranca-Davies said: "We are already taking too much water from some of our rivers and groundwater to meet demand but we can't maintain this without seriously harming our environment, especially as our climate becomes warmer and drier in places.

"If we don't act now we could lose some of our precious biodiversity forever.

"Not only that but continued wasteful consumption of water is harming our climate for future generations due to the energy used in the supply process.

"It is vital that we all act now and take these simple steps to waste less water in our day to day lives to help protect our future."

Sam Bond



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