Moon rising over lake at dawn, Lake Vyrnwy RSPB reserve

Why save water?

The 2000-2009 decade was the warmest on record. Temperatures will continue to rise over the coming decades.

The effect of climate change

If human society takes dramatic action to curb climate change, we can stop the worst environmental damage. But even with strong action, we are bound to feel the effects of the climate pollution we’ve already created. 

Under a ‘best case’ scenario, the global temperature will still rise by 2°C. In the UK, this means longer dry spells in summer and warmer, wetter winters. Growing seasons will lengthen and we will face more extreme weather events such as droughts and storms.

We will be able to grow new plants in our gardens, typically from more southern climes – but we may have to let go those plants which are no longer climatically suitable. 

By using water more wisely in our homes, gardens and workplaces, we can ease the pressure on our wetlands and rivers in these times of stress.

Saving water will ensure more stable, resilient habitats for the birds and other wildlife which depend on our water environment for their survival.

Male, adult, Robin on a hose

A problem we can all help solve

Sometimes it’s obvious where we can save water.

We can collect rainwater to water our gardens, or take showers instead of baths. Other times, the water connection is less obvious, but could be just as important for wildlife and the environment. 

Consider the food in your shopping basket. Produce such as potatoes, tomatoes and oranges which need a lot of water to grow. Some food production in arid countries relies on unsustainable sources of water, which in turn shrinks wetlands and the wildlife which depends on them.

You can help tackle water stress overseas by buying water-hungry produce from countries with plentiful water supplies.

Did you know?

  • Only 25 per cent of domestic customers in England and Wales have their water metered, so there’s little incentive to use less and no way of knowing how much you are saving if you start water efficiency measures. (Source: Ofwat)
  • A dripping tap can lose up to 90 litres of water every day, whilst a rapid stream of drips from your tap may waste as much as 32,000 litres of water in a year. (Source: Anglian Water)
  • A third of water used in the home goes down the toilet (Source: Anglian Water)
  • A running tap can use up to nine litres a minute. (Source: Anglian Water/waterwise)
  • Washing machines typically account for around 14 per cent of the water used in the home (Source: Anglian Water/waterwise)
  • Leaking cisterns can use twice the normal amount of water needed. (Source: Anglian Water)
  • The average bath uses 80 litres of water. (Source: Anglian Water/waterwise)
  • If you’re taking lots of water-saving measures and your water use still seems high, ask the water company to check for leaks in the pipe between the mains and your house. (Source: RSPB Water Policy team)