Cut water use to save the environment

WILDLIFE lovers are being encouraged to help to ensure local rivers are able to keep supporting their environment by cutting their water use at home.

The RSPB wants people to take steps to reduce the amount of water they waste amid concerns that waterways in and around Eastbourne are running far below their usual levels.

A host of birds, mammals, fish and insects feed and reproduce in ponds, streams and rivers, but they are often left high and dry due to over-use of river water, especially during periods of low rainfall.

Steve Gilbert, RSPB South East conservation program manager, said, “It’s easy to forget when there isn’t an official hose-pipe ban that rivers are still running low, and that river wildlife is still suffering.

“Because we get water piped to our homes and it seems to flow out of the tap in endless supply, we don’t always make the link to where it comes from.

“But that water is being piped from a river or an aquifer elsewhere, which may be running low or in extreme cases may even have stopped flowing.

“Everyone can do their bit to help protect our rivers and the wildlife that depends on them, simply by making a few small changes to save water at home or at work.”

Tips include turning taps off when brushing teeth, installing a water butt in your garden and use a watering can instead of sprinklers to water plants.

River wildlife which would benefit from such water-saving efforts includes newts, damselflies, water voles and kingfishers.

For more ideas on how you can help visit www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup.