MP joins water-saving movement to help Save Our Streams

Local water supplier Affinity Water and Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin & Harpenden, joined forces this week to host a briefing in Hertfordshire with locals and prominent voices in conservation.

Held on the banks of chalk stream the River Lea at The White Cottage in Wheathampstead on Tuesday 28th July 2021, invitees heard from Bim Afolami MP and Jake Rigg, Corporate Affairs Director at Affinity Water with a progress update on movement SOS: Save Our Streams, the campaign that urges the public to waste less water to save endangered chalk streams. More than 90,000 people have so far signed up to the campaign and pledged to reduce the amount of water they use on a daily basis.

Among the attendees were representatives from the Environment Agency and the Living Rivers Campaign. Councillor Annie Brewster, Acting Chair of Hertfordshire County Council, was also in attendance.

The movement was launched in response to data which revealed Affinity Water customers use 9% more water per person, per day than the national average.

Bim Afolami MP commented: “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.

“It was great to convene a meeting with local campaigners, Councillors from all levels of local government and representatives from Affinity Water, Environment Agency and the Herts & 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. 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 commented: “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 us 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 is the UK’s biggest water-only supplier. The company launched SOS: Save Our Streams in April 2021. Calling on the public to take action, the campaign seeks to see 21 million litres of water every day saved from being wasted (less than 10 litres per person, per day), the equivalent of 8.4 Olympic-sized swimming pools. A giant working bath, 125 times the size of a regular bath, has been touring towns and cities this summer as part of the campaign to highlight unsustainable water wastage.

Members of the public are urged to take action now and visit where, after answering a few questions about how they use water, they can gain access to their exact household’s water-use stats, a free water-saving kit plus free leak repairs and tailored advice via video calls.

So what are you waiting for?

It’s super easy to help your local environment and Save Our Streams – it’ll only take you three minutes.
And if helping the environment wasn’t enough, you’ll also save money too.