Saving water

Fresh water is one of our most precious resources. Yet we’re taking it for granted and using too much.

Water consumption

Agriculture is the greatest strain on water, accounting for over 70% of global water withdrawals. The water needed to produce the stuff we buy is huge.

Did you know?

97.5% of the world’s water is locked in seas and oceans, too salty for human use. Of the 2.5% remaining, most is in the ice caps. Humanity depends on the tiny proportion of the planet’s water that is available as fresh water.

Privatisation of water

Like land in developing countries, water supplies are being used at an unprecedented rate for crop production, including crops for livestock feeds and biofuels.

And people are being pushed off their lands to feed the growing demand for water elsewhere.

Conserving water

In the UK, Friends of the Earth is working to protect fresh water through our network of local activists, and regional and national advocacy work.

As for global fresh water, we’re promoting a water policy that includes:

  • Governments measuring water use and setting targets to reduce it
  • Strong EU rules obliging large companies to measure and manage the amount of resources they use, including water
  • More low-impact consumption. For example, governments and businesses should encourage lower water diets (including reduced meat consumption) and greater durability of clothing and other water-intensive products
  • Governments providing consumers with the tools to understand the water impacts of their consumption
  • Building regulations that stimulate water recycling in the UK and EU.

Did you know?

It takes about 460 gallons of water to produce 1/4 pound of beef - the amount in a regular hamburger.

If you don't want to eat up our valuable water supplies, cook more veggies and cut down on the meat - we'll even offer tips, recipes and inspiration to help you Eat Better.

I'll save fresh water 

Key briefing

Global water