Following The Environment Agency’s (EA’s) warning of the strong possibility of a summer drought in the South East this year, Affinity Water and environmental charity Hubbub have launched a campaign to promote water conservation.
Affinity and Hubbub said the campaign will build on work carried out in 2017 when the two organisations launched behaviour change campaign, #Tapchat, that focused on “hidden water use habits” to encourage discussion about water efficiency. The approach was informed by national polling of 3,000 UK consumers and a study involving 40 households in Watford and Harlow.
The EA said a dry winter so far has meant that above average-rainfall is needed for the remaining winter months to replenish groundwater supplies for 2018.
The aims for the next phase of #Tapchat are to inform specific groups on water conservation issue including the creation of an “authentic grass-root network” in the Affinity Water region to undertake water saving activities in their own home and influence others to do the same.
Chief executive of Hubbub, Trewin Restorick, said: “The research we carried out in the first phase concluded that the main cause of excessive water use is a lack of awareness, rather than a lack of willingness to change or do things differently… With support, the majority of people would be open to changing their behaviour to save water.”
In addition to the partnership with Hubbub, Affinity Water said it was taking a range of measures, including:
cinvesting even more in its network, including achieving the highest leakage reduction targets in the water industry;
working in partnership with other water companies and the Environment Agency;
resting groundwater sources so that they can be used if the situation worsens further; and
reducing abstraction in certain catchments where environmental triggers are reached.