Over-use and exploitation of water is a threat to nature which can be addressed by limiting use and increasing efficiency.
What’s going on?
The abstraction of water from rivers and other sources can have a negative impact on nature and biodiversity.
To protect nature whilst also meeting human needs, there’s a need to use water efficiently.
Taking too much water from our rivers and lakes can damage wildlife and make them vulnerable to pollution. In coastal areas, it can also cause the intrusion of saltwater from the sea which degrades the quality of groundwater.
- Parts of England are projected to run out of sufficient water in the next 20 years, if no action is taken. 
- The UK’s total water supply is forecast to drop 7% by 2045 due to climate change and unsustainable abstraction. 
- 5% of surface water bodies and 15% of groundwater bodies are at risk from increasing water use. 
- Nearly one fifth of surface waters – and over a quarter of groundwaters – do not have enough water to protect the environment and to meet the needs of fish and other aquatic life. 
Get nature positive
Across the UK, leading water companies are working hard to limit the abstraction of water and offset its impact.
Actions they are taking include reducing leakage by 15% across the sector in the next four years, then halving it by 2045 – so head-for-head, less water is required. There is also work ongoing with manufacturers to produce more water-efficient devices, and with house builders to make houses more water-efficient.
Some water companies are also empowering customers with better education about how they can save water and, in the process, save money and help the environment.
Inspired by the steps leading water companies are already taking, we’ve compiled suggested actions to help you on your journey to nature positivity.
Actions for nature