A new UK-wide opinion survey, commissioned by WWT, highlights growing awareness and concern about water usage and a willingness to do more to reduce flooding and help wildlife.
WWT is using the survey to launch a campaign to raise awareness of how we can manage rainwater better for communities, whilst benefitting wildlife and making financial savings.
The results highlight simple ways all of us can do more to reduce the impact of too much or too little rain, and how public bodies and private companies can help too.
For example, 63% of people interviewed wanted to know how empty the reservoir that supplies their home is, for instance through reports along with the weather.
Martin Spray, Chief Executive of WWT said “The results show the public wants to know and do more about water in their area, which in itself is good news because our use of water has big implications for our communities and our wildlife.
“Simple things like installing a water butt – which 1/3 of people have done – reduce pressure on storm drains and flooding. However, more than half of interviewees say they haven’t been offered a subsidised butt by their council or water company, so there are clear opportunities to support measures that benefit us all.
“And with more UK households moving over to water meters, it’s not only good for wildlife and communities; it’s good for our pockets too.”
Willing to change
One of the most heartening results is how many people interviewed were willing to make water friendly adaptations to their homes and gardens.
Over 40% have or would consider having a pond filled with rainwater and nearly as many would consider a green roof.
Just under half have or would consider putting in a swale or ditch with water-loving plants to allow rainwater to soak away slowly. And three quarters of us have or would have a water butt.
Across the board there was an increase in concern over issues relating to water. Highest on the list was reducing water bills but flooding, environmental damage to wetlands from polluted storm water run-off and shortages of water for wildlife in gardens and public spaces were all also concerns.
Martin Spray continues: “The environmental advantages of conserving water are multiple and it is clear that people are keen to do their bit. This survey has thrown up simple measures that we can do at home and that our institutions can do to support us.”
WWT, along with other conservation organisations, recently called for the Government to take action on issues such as wasted water and pollution with the publication of a new Blueprint for Water which laid out moves that could be taken to address these problems.
Work your butt
For inspirational instructive videos on how to turn your garden into a “Rain Garden” and how to make your garden more wildlife friendly check out our Rain Gardening section.
We have also launched a competition to find the most comprehensive use of a water butt to conserve water. “Work Your Butt” is open until 30 June and every accepted entry will be given a free admission to the WWT centre of their choice and there is hundreds of pounds worth of gardening vouchers to be won.
Entrants need to complete one of two sentences: “I work my butt well by….” or “If I had one, I would work my butt by…” and send a photo or upload a video.
The public can also contribute their experiences and thoughts on using water. WWT is asking the nation to go online and take just 5 minutes to complete a survey.