Protecting our water supply for World Water Day

To mark World Water Day (Wednesday 22 March 2023), we are celebrating work taking place locally to protect our water supply and sharing ideas of ways to use less water at home.  

Water and climate change are inextricably linked. Climate change is disrupting our weather patterns, leading to an increased risk of droughts and flooding, which in turn affect water quality as more frequent flooding leads to more pollution in our water supply. 

The Aquifer Partnership 

The Aquifer Partnership (TAP) is a partnership between the South Downs National Park Authority, Brighton & Hove City Council, Southern Water, and the Environment Agency that protects our drinking water from pollution and increases resilience to climate change.    

Our drinking water comes from the Brighton Chalk Block Aquifer. An aquifer holds water in the ground in a permeable or porous rock layer. The chalk below us acts as a natural filter and holds water like a sponge – in fact, one cubic meter of chalk can hold up to 660 litres of water! 

Local initiatives 

We’re working hard to minimise flooding in Brighton & Hove through the Shaping Climate Change Adaptive Places (SCAPE) project, which diverts surface water run-off away from vulnerable properties, and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), which store and slowly release surface water run-off while filtering out pollutants.    

We are working with TAP to create a rainscape in Wild Park to tackle pollution and improve the area for people and nature. The rainscape will reduce the risk of groundwater contamination by introducing a new system to prevent polluted highway runoff going directly into the underlying groundwater.  

And new drinking water fountains and bottle filling points were installed across the city in 2022 to cut down on single-use plastic bottles and reduce litter. 

How to save water  

  1. Switch to showers   
  2. Keep the sprinklers off  
  3. Turn off the tap  
  4. Fill up the washing up bowl   
  5. Make sure your dishwasher is full   
  6. Use leftover cooking water 
  7. Fix any leaky taps 
  8. Fit low flow aerators on your taps and showers  
  9. Fill up a jug of cold water to keep in the fridge 
  10. Fill the kettle only as much as you need   

Visit WWF’s webpage of tips to help you save water at home for further information.