'Every single person will be making a difference' - crusade to cut water wastage continues
- Credit: Penny Bird
The fight to drastically reduce water consumption in Hitchin and Harpenden continues, as prominent figures and residents came together with a regional water supplier to tackle the issue.
MP Bim Afolami joined forces with Affinity Water this week to host a briefing with locals and prominent voices, having conversations about conservation.
Invitees met on the banks of chalk stream the River Lea at The White Cottage in Wheathampstead on July 27, and heard from Bim and Affinity Water's Jake Rigg, who provided a progress update their latest campaign, SOS: Save Our Streams.
The movement - which has now had over 90,000 sign ups, including around 10,000 from our area - urges the public to waste less water to save endangered chalk streams by pledging to reduce the amount of water they use on a daily basis.
Representatives from the Environment Agency and the Living Rivers Campaign, as well as Cllr Annie Brewster - acting chair of Herts County Council - were also in attendance.
Bim said: “Our chalk streams are a wonderful natural resource and a highly endangered habitat for some of the rarest native water-borne invertebrates. We are privileged to have so many that pass through our constituency.
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“It was great to convene a meeting with local campaigners, councillors from all levels of local government and representatives from Affinity Water, the Environment Agency and the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust to discuss how we can all work together and save our chalk streams.
“Water consumption - both domestic and in industry - is very high here in Hertfordshire, and we had an extremely useful meeting to discuss the ways we can all reduce our water consumption and how regulators and industry can adopt best practice.
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"I was very impressed with Affinity Water's commitment to reduce abstraction, work with environmental groups and protect the fragile ecosystems in these living waterways. To echo the words of one parish councillor who attended; an holistic approach is completely necessary to protect these unique havens for nature.”
Jake Rigg, corporate affairs director at Affinity Water, added: “Chalk streams are an iconic and beautiful asset to our countryside. Today, by the banks of the River Lea, a quintessential example of a chalk stream, we have been able to review our progress to date and discuss priorities for the next steps to achieve our goal to preserve these natural gems.
"The current demand for water is unsustainable and it must take a collective effort to address water-wasting behaviours. Affinity Water is committed to ending unsustainable abstraction from local streams, including the change we are making in the River Lea, but it has to be a community effort.
"Every single person who has signed up to the campaign so far will be making a difference.”
Affinity Water launched SOS: Save Our Streams in April 2021, calling on the public to take action and save 21 million litres of water every day from being wasted - the equivalent of eight-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools, or less than 10 litres per person per day.
To take action and find out more, visit saveourstreams.co.uk.