Sustainability Blog - by UEA staff & students Sustainability Blog - by UEA staff & students


Focus on Water Month: local issues - what YOU can do to help

Norwich has the same average rainfall as Addis Ababa

Water month is here and we're going to talk about why water conservation is so important here in Norfolk – and of course, what simple steps we can take to make sure we use less water.

Here's the thing. Norfolk is considered a water-stressed area, and while supply has met demand in the past, this isn’t guaranteed for the future. With climate change and the increase in population the demand for water is also going up.

The goal of Anglian Water is to reduce demand so that in the future they don’t have to resort to building desalinisation plants, where they take the salt out of seawater. Now, this procedure is expensive and harmful for the environment. This leaves us with the power to make better and more sustainable choices in our daily lives.

Where to start?

Anglian Water - Bits and Bobs campaign supports local water efficiency with free house visits and equipment installation

Like with anything else, the more we know the more responsible we'll act. An easy way is to first become aware of your water usage and figure out your Water Footprint. This way you can see where you're at and aim to reduce your water consumption. Another great way to save some water (and money) is by giving Anglian Water a call to book a FREE water saving home visit where they provide water saving advice and fit water-saving products to help you reduce your water usage.

Change your daily habits

It's much easier to change your habits when you know where you're at, and sometimes it's the small steps we take that can make all the difference. Maybe skip daily showers? Or give yourself a time limit each morning. When you're brushing your teeth, turn off the tap. Other ways to reduce your water consumption include switching to water efficient appliances, fixing taps and leaks or reducing your laundry load.

Our daily habits also include what we eat. Did you know that animal agriculture has a huge impact on water consumption? It is estimated that it takes 1,857 gallons to produce a pound of beef, and 469 gallons for a pound of chicken (not including processing). A vegetarian or plant-based diet can help save a lot of water (and lives).

It takes 2720 litres of water to make a t-shirt. That's how much we normally drink over a 3-year period.

Our daily choices include what we wear too. The fashion industry can't be let off the hook. It takes 2,700 litres of water to make a cotton t-shirt: that's about three years of drinking water for one person.

One of the best ways to choose sustainable and affordable fashion is by relying more on second-hand pieces. And there’s no shortage of charity and vintage shops here in Norwich!

Protect the water around you

RiverCare beach care - East Anglian initiative

And last but not least, let's protect the water around us – our rivers and oceans. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is by reducing your plastic consumption. So much of it ends up in our oceans.

If you've got some free time or can't wait to get active in protecting our water and the environment, then the RiverCare initiative is for you.

About the author: Zahra Khosroshahi

I’m a PhD student at UEA, looking at the representation of women in Iranian cinema. When I’m not consumed by films, I like to write about environmental issues. I believe we all need to take better care of our shared and only home.

Follow me on Instagram for more zero-waste and eco inspiration: @zahra_livinglifenatural