A THIRD of Brits ‘aren’t bothered’ about water waste – with millions overfilling their kettles, leaving the tap running when cleaning their teeth, and having excessively long showers.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 23 per cent of those with an uneconomical approach to water aren’t inclined to change their ways because they have a specific daily routine.

While 17 per cent claim they can afford to use all the water they want and 15 per cent believe the tendency for it to rain in the UK means there’s no shortage of it.

Other ways many of those polled are wasteful included flushing the toilet for no real reason, running the dishwasher when it’s not full, and setting the temperature high on their hot tubs.

However, 41 per cent admit they need to change their ways – but don't know how to make a difference.

While 55 per cent revealed they weren’t aware of the environmental impact water waste has in the UK.

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The study was commissioned by Affinity Water, which has teamed-up with Ben Fogle to highlight the importance of water conservation.

As part of this, yesterday children from Thomas Harding Junior School in Chesham were taken on a river dipping trip to learn about water usage and the knock-on effect it has on chalk streams.

Ben Fogle said: “During my global adventures, I’ve seen how fragile habitats can come under threat. 

“Our chalk streams have been described as England’s Great Barrier Reef.

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“They are 10 times more endangered than both the Bengal Tiger and the Black Rhino, and as worthy of protection as anything I’ve seen on my travels.

“Sometimes we take the water coming out of our taps for granted, so learning how wasting water can affect some of our most precious ecosystems is important.

“I’m hoping Affinity Water’s Save Our Streams initiative will encourage people to change some of those habits that they’ve fallen into.”

The study also found 38 per cent of those polled are using more water in their homes now compared to 12 months ago.

While water consumption has increased further since the droughts between June and August this year – with 30 per cent of adults claiming to drink more water than ever before.

Although 51 per cent admit they’re not entirely sure how much water they’re wasting.

A spokesperson for Affinity Water said: “We all want to do our part to help the planet but it’s important we understand how the little things we each day do can have a wider impact.

‘’The fact that people are having more showers each week and taking longer as well is quite striking to see, in addition to the fact many are unaware on the levels of water they are using.

‘’Given the recent droughts we had this summer, it’s important to review our everyday habits to ensure we conserve as much H2O as possible.

“That’s why we are re-launching our Save our Streams (SOS) initiative, to help customers to save water, which in turn will save them money, and help to protect the UK’s delicate chalk stream ecosystems.”

It also emerged, 36 per cent would be willing to use water more efficiently if they could save money by doing so.

And 31 per cent said understanding how being less wasteful would help the planet would motivate them to change their habits.

Carried out by OnePoll, the research also found 33 per cent have ‘permanently’ changed their water usage behaviour since this summer’s heatwave led to droughts.

While 28 per cent fear there could be a water shortage in the UK during the winter months – if water continues to be wasted as it appears to be at the moment.

The spokesperson for Affinity Water added: “Making simple changes every day will have a huge collective impact on our streams, and people can also save a bit of money on their energy bills.

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“We have had one of the driest summers on record, and despite us all believing it rains a lot in this country, rainfall has been below average for more than six months. 

“Now is the right time for a campaign like Save our Streams to encourage children and their families to become the next generation of Stream Savers and take simple steps to make water conservation second nature.”


1. Filling the kettle with more than you actually need

2. Leaving the water running while brushing teeth

3. Using a full flush when a half flush would suffice

4. Leaving the tap running when washing up by hand

5. Leaving the water running while washing fruit and vegetables

6. Not using the eco friendly function on the dishwasher or washing machines

7. Using a hose to water the lawn or garden

8. Filling the bath to the top/topping up with hot water

9. Running the washing machine when it isn’t full

10. Regularly having longer showers

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