A lack of water is one of the main problems facing the chalk streams tributaries. The groundwater which feeds these rivers is also abstracted (pumped) to supply the local area with drinking water.

Average daily water use across Hertfordshire and the Chilterns is the highest in the country – around 180 litres per person, per day (30 litres more than the national average). Because of this groundwater abstraction, the amount of water in the rivers is much lower than it should be. The upper reaches of the rivers are often completely dry.

One way of tackling this problem is by saving water and promoting water efficiency. Many people don’t realise the direct link between our taps and our rivers. Every single litre of water we can save is an extra litre which can remain in rivers like the Ver, Gade, Bulbourne, Chess and Misbourne

Ways to save water

  • Take a quick shower, not a bath
  • Install a water saving device in your toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water used with each flush by up to 2.5 litres
  • Consider collecting shower water in a bucket, and using it to flush the loo. 5-10litres saved.
  • Install flow limiters on your taps and showers
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or washing fruit and veg – washing your teeth for 3 minutes with the tap running could waste up to 20 litres of water.
  • Fix dripping taps – a tap that drips every 5 seconds wastes 2 litres of water per day
  • Water garden plants with a watering can, not a hosepipe and where possible choose drought tolerant plants that require little watering
  • Wash your car with a bucket, not a hosepipe
  • Use a water butt in your garden to collect rainwater for washing the car or watering your garden
  • Request a water meter. By making you more aware of water use, water meters can save both water and money!

In the Colne Catchment area, it is likely your water supply company is Affinity Water or Thames Water (some people have private supplies). Check your bill to see who supplies your water. Both companies are very keen to support reductions in usage, and offer a variety of advice and help to do this. Look at their websites to see how you can save water:

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.