Use water wisely

it’s fair to say that we take fresh, clean water for granted here in the UK, after all it’s available on tap…literally! We don’t always appreciate that fresh water is a precious, scarce resource that we should cherish.

A combination of climate change, an increasing population, plus a massively increased demand for fresh water for domestic, industrial and agricultural use means that our supplies are dwindling fast.

Did you know that the average person in the UK uses around 142 litres of water per day, compared with 85 litres back in the 1960s? That’s a huge increase, putting a strain on our supplies.

If you look at the population of our catchment (161,268 in 2018 according to the Office for National Statistics) then we use 8,360 BILLION litres of water per year – taken from Eden’s reservoirs, river systems and underground aquifers.

Don’t forget that Haweswater also supplies drinking water to the good people of Greater Manchester as well!

It only takes a couple of dry spells (and we bet that some recent ones spring to mind) for there to be water shortages and newspaper headlines about hosepipe bans.

When reservoirs run low, water companies apply for licences to take water ( known as abstracting) from Eden’s rivers and lakes, reducing water levels. If river levels are already low, this can destroy habitat and put wildlife at peril.

We all must use water wisely to ensure that people and wildlife can continue to survive and thrive.

U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Using water wisely locally also makes a difference globally - contributing towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These are a set of 17 goals set out by the United Nations to focus efforts around the world in order to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” (UN SDG website)

Although major actions are needed by governments, cities and local authorities, it starts with each and every one of us. By making a promise to Act for Eden, you are already living and working more sustainably – which is great news for our planet.


You can do it

Here's how

Water wisely

Save water and look after your soil by watering with the right amount at the right time of day.
Instead of reaching for the garden tap, collect rainwater and reuse water from the home (e.g. the water that gets wasted as you wait for the hot water to come through).
Why not get a water butt from United Utilities and use the clean rainwater to water your garden?
The Guardian newspaper has some handy tips for saving water in the garden.

Running on empty

Don’t leave your shower running before you get in! Try to keep it at your preferred temperature if you can, so you don’t have to adjust it each time to get it just right.

Got an old loo?

Get a FREE water-saving flush bag to put in your cistern and save 1.2 litres of water every flush!
Visit the United Utilities website to order yours today.

Ditch the rinse

The NHS recommends that you don’t rinse your teeth immediately after brushing as it dilutes and reduces the preventative effects of fluoride toothpaste.

Project: create a rain garden

Create a ‘downpipe garden, which can be great for wildlife and make an attractive feature in even the smallest of backyards. South East Rivers Trust show you how!

Catch every drop

Don’t stop at tooth brushing! When you turn the hot tap on, place a bowl/jug underneath the catch the cold water. You can then use this to water your plants, or elsewhere around the house.

Make a promise to use water wisely

Garden for Eden

Garden for Eden

Take shorter showers

Take shorter showers

Taps off for teeth

Taps off for teeth

Be flushed with success

Be flushed with success


Who are Eden Rivers Trust?

We are an environmental charity based in the beautiful Eden Valley in Cumbria, England. We’re passionate about having healthy, natural rivers that are better places for people and wildlife.  Find out more about how we’re rethinking rivers for good on our website.