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Cambridge Water asks 300,000 customers to use a 'Can for the Cam'.

This summer, Cambridge Water is asking their customers across the city and beyond to ditch the garden hose.

The campaign is aimed at reducing seasonal high demand, avoiding the need to pipe in water from neighbouring areas and protecting local chalk streams, including the River Cam.

Watering the lawn, cleaning the car, filling up paddling pools, using the sprinkler… it all adds up to a massive strain on local water resources. With another hot summer forecast, Cambridge Water is asking customers to do one simple thing – ditch the hose and switch to a watering can, creating the potential for huge water savings.

An ordinary garden hose can use up to 1,000 litres an hour, as much as an average adult uses in a whole week. Compare that to using a watering can for one hour, and you’d only use around 200 litres an hour.  Every single litre is high quality drinking water, taken from the same groundwater sources that supply Cambridgeshire’s rare and precious chalk streams, including the River Cam.

Natalie Akroyd, Director of Quality & Environment at Cambridge Water said:

“In Cambridgeshire, an extra 20 million litres a day is used, approximately, over the summer. Cambridge Water does not have enough reserves, so we must pipe it in from other areas, which isn’t ideal. The alternative is to take more from groundwater sources, but this will affect Cambridgeshire’s local streams and rivers, including the River Cam.

“If we all switch our hose to a watering can, we’ll keep millions of litres in Cambridge’s watercourses. If people Can for the Cam this summer, we’ll not just be saving water, but helping protect habitats and wildlife.”

Chalk streams are incredibly rare, with only around 260 known around the world. 85% are in south-eastern England, including East Anglia and Cambridgeshire.

Children were invited to try watering with a can at the launch event on the River Cam.

While customers are doing their bit, Cambridge Water will be doing theirs – finding and fixing leaks as quickly as possible. The company has set itself an ambitious target of reducing leakage by 15% by 2025 and are well on the way to achieving it.

There are lots of easy ways to save water around the home. Cambridge Water customers can use the company’s interactive online tool to find out how much water they use every day and order FREE water-saving devices tailored to their home.

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