Since 1996 water companies have had a duty to promote the efficient use of water. This includes encouraging sensible use of water at home and in the garden, promoting water saving devices and clearly communicating how to report leaks. Within the Broadland Catchment Partnership Anglian Water and Essex and Suffolk Water both run initiatives. With a focus both on saving money and on improving the environment by reducing the water abstracted these initiatives are particularly important as hotter and drier weather is predicted in the future.
Anglian Water provides water to around 4.2 million customers, it is one of the largest water companies and operates in the East of England which is drier than the rest of the UK but can experience sudden heavy rainfall. Current initiatives under WaterWise include Drop 20 (to encourage every customer to reduce their daily water usage by 20 litres), The Potting Shed (to reduce water in the garden), Keep It Clear (to reduce sewer blockages) and Free Bits and Bobs where a fitter will bring a range of water saving devices to reduce water usage in a home.
Anglian Water also funds community volunteer initiatives RiverCare which is active on the Wensum in Norwich and BeachCare dedicated to cleaning up the environment for people and wildlife. These two initiatives are delivered by Keep Britain Tidy and aim to encourage ‘Friends of’ groups, canoe clubs, residents associations and neighbourhoods to work together with a common goal of improving their local river environment.
Essex & Suffolk Water
Currently customers in Witham (Essex) can order a free water and energy saving visit under the Every Drop Counts initiative, and all customers of E&SW can order free water saving products to save on water bills, E&SW also run an educational campaign Super Splash Heroes.
E&SW support catchment management through hosting a number of catchment initiatives such as the Waveney Catchment Partnership where the work with Natural England Catchment Sensitive Farming Officers focuses on reducing the amount of pesticides, nitrates, and also phosphate and sediments, running off the land into the river. The ‘PestiWise’ project run by E&SW since 2015 offers targeted interventions, including training, equipment calibration, grants towards precision application equipment and (in some catchments) improved pesticide handling infrastructure, all designed to actively support the existing actives farmers have available, while reducing average and peak pesticide concentrations in catchment watercourses. The ultimate aim is to reduce run-off from field and farmyard point sources and thus reduce the concentration of pesticides entering our reservoirs and drinking water abstraction points, via voluntary means. Within the Broadland Catchment Area the PestiWise project has been working to reduce metaldehyde levels in the Dickleburgh Stream.