WaterAid’s response to the Environment Agency’s calls for action to curb water wastage and overuse

23 May 2018
Climate change, Water
Thumbnail WaterAid/Jordi Ruiz Cirera

WaterAid today responded to the Environment Agency’s calls for action on water efficiency.

Jonathan Farr, WaterAid’s senior policy analyst on water security and climate change, said:

“This report demonstrates that the UK is not immune to the water scarcity issues we see in the places in which we work every day around the world. As seen earlier this year in Cape Town, no one can take water for granted, no matter where they live. Following warnings from NASA last week, this is another call for Governments to work with utilities on tackling the water crisis. While the UK has access to world class engineers and resources, WaterAid is already working in countries facing severe water restrictions.

“The good news is that by using water more carefully in our homes and gardens, and through the ongoing work of water utilities to address leakages, we can help to counteract this increasing water stress from population growth and the extreme weather caused by climate change. An average person in the UK uses 140 litres per day — almost three times that of the World Health Organization’s recommended amount for daily personal use. All of us can take small steps, including shorter showers and fewer toilet flushes, to help conserve our water supply for the future. We must all stop taking water for granted and treat it as the precious and finite resource that it is.

“We need to see the international community mobilise urgent action to reach the 844 million people without even basic water supplies and secure water resources for the 60% of the world under water stress. The people living with the water crisis are those who’ve done the least to cause it.”


Cutting down on the amount of water you use will not only reduce your bills, but will also reduce the level of climate-changing greenhouse gases you release into the atmosphere.

  1. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth - running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute - and try having speedier showers.
  2. From shower heads to tap aerators, find out about free water-saving gadgets that you can get from your water company. Visit savewatersavemoney.co.uk to see what you’re entitled to.
  3. Place a water-saving device in your toilet cistern to reduce the volume of water used in each flush. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between one and three litres of water each time you flush.


For more information, please contact:

Lisa Martin, Senior Media Officer
[email protected]
+44 (0)20 7793 4524

Fiona Callister, Global Head of Media
[email protected]
07785 725387

Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @WaterAidUK or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid.

  • 844 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.[1]
  • 2.3 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]
  • Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]
  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]
  • Just £24 can provide one person with clean water.[5]
  • To find out if countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, see the online database www.WASHwatch.org

[3] washwatch.org

[4] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage

[5] www.wateraid.org