Jersey Water is to take part in a National Campaign for 2011 aimed at not wasting water, which is being spearheaded by former Olympic athlete Kriss Akabusi.
Launched today, ‘the big tap challenge’, has been developed by Waterwise*, the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK, who already work with Jersey Water on a number of projects, and is being supported by 10 UK water businesses**. The campaign aims to reinforce positive steps we can all take to use tap water wisely at home and encourage everyone to make a pledge to do their bit.
Recently conducted research*** has shown that three quarters of people in the UK have heard of ways to avoid wasting water and a large number already have environmentally friendly habits when it comes to how they use tap water.
The research by the big tap challenge found that, whilst a quarter of people are already washing fruit and vegetables in a bowl, half still do it under a running tap. Part of the problem is that people aren’t aware of how much water can come out of their taps in a minute, with three quarters underestimating the flow (which is about six litres per minute).
Recent severe weather has been causing disruption to water supplies for some people in the UK, which highlights how essential tap water is in peoples’ daily lives and how important it is to help secure future water supplies by using water wisely, particularly on an Island with limited natural resources.
Kriss Akabusi stars in a short video highlighting simple ways people can use tap water wisely in and around their homes and gardens. He is also providing his support to the campaign by reinforcing a number of key issues, as follows:
“It’s great to find out so many people realise tap water shouldn’t be wasted and to see that so many people are already taking action, but there’s still a lot to do to ensure everyone gets the message and takes action”.
“For example, leaving the tap running when you clean your teeth wastes six litres of water a minute. If everyone in the UK who currently leaves the tap running when they brush their teeth turned it off instead we would avoid wasting 446 million litres of water – enough to supply 2.9 million people for one day. That’s the entire population of Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and Sheffield.”
“I know a lot about running but even I got this question wrong and I was amazed that a dripping tap can waste 5,000 litres of water a year. If everyone in the UK fixed their dripping taps we’d save enough water to supply 120,000 people for one day.”
“There is also plenty of scope for everyone to use water more wisely outdoors. Around a quarter of people already use a water butt and about 10% use left over washing up water on the garden, but a lot of people are still using tap water.”
“Something like 85,000 litres of rainwater falls on a house, garage, shed or greenhouse roof every year so there’s no excuse not to collect some of it in a water butt to water your garden, clean your car or wash your windows. It saves using tap water and rainwater is generally better for your plants.”
People in Jersey are being invited to join Kriss Akabusi in the big tap challenge. By visiting bigtapchallenge to see the video (also on ‘YouTube’) and make a pledge to change the way they use their taps at home. People who make a pledge will have their name entered into a monthly draw with the chance to win some fun water-related prizes, also available to Jersey entrants.
Howard Snowden, Managing Director & Engineer of Jersey Water, commented:
“We have chosen for the first time to take part in a National Campaign aimed at raising peoples’ awareness about saving water because we want to emphasise to people in Jersey that it’s not just a local problem. In the UK there are very many more natural resources, but they too are suffering from water scarcity in many regions”.
“In 2010 we started our universal metering programme and are on target for the delivery of meters to 17,500 Island homes by 2015. By all making even the smallest of changes – as Kriss has highlighted – we can work together to safeguard our most precious resource”.
The campaign will run throughout the year, with different topics being highlighted throughout the changing seasons. People can also find out about other water saving tips by visiting Jersey Water’s website (www.jerseywater.je).
*Waterwise is the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK. Focused on decreasing water consumption in the UK, Waterwise is an independent, not for profit organisation that receives funding from the UK water industry and from sponsorship and consultancy work.
** The water companies supporting the big tap challenge are:
Bournemouth & West Hampshire Water
Dee Valley Water
South East Water
South Staffs Water
Sutton and East Surrey Water
*** 74 per cent of people asked said they had heard of ways to make sure water isn’t wasted. Research based on an ICM omnibus survey of 2,033 people across the UK questioned between December 16 and 20 2010.