We are all aware that water is essential for life, but access to readily available clean water is a luxury we take for granted. The effects of climate change are seen by the havoc it plays on water sustainability — droughts and flooding are now commonplace.

In Amersham we use on average a staggering 170 litres of water per person per day. Thirty percent of household water usage is to flush toilets and a further 33% goes on personal washing. Only 4% of our clean water is used for drinking.

The local chalk streams that serve the Chiltern area are struggling to survive. Many have dried up or are now polluted and their ecological status has fallen substantially. Reduced winter rainfall means they are no longer topped up each year.

Local issues & actions

Local groups such as The Chiltern Society, Chiltern Chalk Streams and The River Chess Association work to improve our chalk streams. They enhance the biodiversity of local rivers and protect them from pollution and reduced flow due to abstraction.

In Amersham, Affinity Water is working with the Environment Agency to revitalise chalk streams and make them more natural again. The current restoration scheme on the River Misbourne covers the stretch of river from Barn Meadow to Church Street.

What you can do

We all know using less water is a good thing but it can be hard to know where to start.

We can make savings every day. Affinity Water offers a free water saving kit to help you on your way. To get started see GetWaterFit, measure your personal water consumption and find tips on how to reduce your usage.

Start with these tips:

1. Never leave a tap running, for any reason.

2. Use a washing-up bowl instead of a full sink.

3. Use a rainwater butt to store water to use in your garden.

4. Reduce your time in the shower…how low can you go? Can you try for four minutes max? Try ‘Army-style’ where you turn the water on and off, using it only to rinse.

5. Wash clothes only when absolutely necessary, when you have a full load.

6. Report any water leaks immediately to FixMyStreet.



An independent NGO focused on reducing UK water consumption. They support and challenge government, industry and consumers to be innovative and ambitious on water efficiency.

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