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SOS: Save Our Streams plea to Bishop's Stortford residents

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Residents in Bishop's Stortford have been urged to stop wasting water and help to save rare chalk streams like the River Stort.

The country's largest water supplier, Affinity Water, said statistics show its customers in the town are using 2.5% more water per person per day than the national average – and 59% of people mistakenly believe they use less.

Stortford consumers are being asked to make a daily saving of 18 litres – or almost four gallons – per household to save the waterways dubbed "Britain's Great Barrier Reef".

Jake Rigg, Affinity Water's director of corporate affairs and communities
Jake Rigg, Affinity Water's director of corporate affairs and communities

Rivers and streams like the Stort, where clear water flows from underground springs, are more endangered than both the Bengal tiger and black rhino.

New research among more than 6,000 Affinity Water customers revealed that more than half (53%) visit waterways more than once a month and more than three-quarters (76%) say they care a lot about their local rivers and streams.

These natural gems are at risk due to unsustainably high demand for water, so the new SOS: Save Our Streams campaign aims to support the 71% of Affinity Water customers ready to reduce water use at home with tailored advice.

The River Stort in Castle Park, Bishop's Stortford
The River Stort in Castle Park, Bishop's Stortford

A pilot scheme in St Albans last year resulted in a saving of more than 700,000 litres of water a day. Now, Affinity is calling on everyone to join these efforts and take action to save chalk streams from the brink by saving 21 million litres a day – the equivalent of 140 million cups of tea, 37 million pints of water, 262,500 baths of water and 8.4 Olympic swimming pools.

Jake Rigg, director of corporate affairs and communities, said: "Affinity Water is committed to ending unsustainable abstraction from local streams, but it must be a community effort. Saving water at home will not only help us do this, it will support our efforts towards a zero-carbon future.

"To help everyone tackle their water-wasting habits, we have created SaveOurStreams.co.uk, a new and genuinely helpful resource. The website provides tailored advice for easy wins to help us all waste less water, as well as offering water-saving freebies."

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