At the recent Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce lunch, we enjoyed a talk from Director of communications, communities and corporate affairs at Affinity Water, Jake Rigg, on the #WhyNotWater campaign.
Water in the South East is in particular crisis because there is less rainfall over this region and population growth could mean severe shortages in the next 25 years. The campaign calls on the population to demand key energy and water saving legislative changes.
Why should we act?
- Climate change is likely to reduce our supply of water in our area by 39 million litres of water per day by 2080.
- The population is growing and is expected to increase 51% by 2080. This is equivalent to approximately 1.8 million more people in our supply area, putting further strain on our resources.
- Using water wisely is critical in the South East – a severely water-stressed area; did you know there was less rainfall than other parts of the country? Between July 2016 and April 2017 the area received 33% less rainfall than the national average.
- Customers in the South East also use more water daily – 152 litres per person per day, which is higher than the national average of 141 litres per person per day.
Rigg, said: “We must act now to avert a crisis. We need to increase the supply of water through new options and by moving water between areas and by reducing demand. The most effective way of doing this is by introducing a mandatory water efficiency labelling scheme and without, we will have a crisis on our hands.”
The #WhyNotWater manifesto asks the government to introduce obligatory water efficiency labels so buyers can make informed choices, give tenants more rights to water saving products in rented accommodation, and ensure fixtures and fittings meet minimum standards.
He added: “We need to work in collaboration with government, the water companies, and civil society, but with fierce urgency. That is why we have launched this campaign. Consumers are used to energy labelling in Britain and manufacturers have responded by reducing the energy consumption of white goods.
“We have this for energy, why not water?
“All we are asking for is a common-sense approach to water.”
Find out more about the campaign at www.whynotwater.co.uk
Affinity Water has also created a petition urging the government to take more action. View it at www.affinitywater.co.uk/ourpetition