Measures to reduce personal water use

Closed 11 Oct 2019

Opened 19 Jul 2019


Climate change, population increases, environmental requirements and a growing demand for water will mean that, in the future, there will be substantial pressure on surface and groundwater supplies, less water available per person and a significant likelihood of more frequent, severe droughts.

It is vital that we maintain sustainable supplies of water for future generations. This will involve both increasing supply and reducing demand. Reducing the amount of water that we all use is an important element of reducing demand on water supplies. 

In the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan we commit to working to reduce personal water use as part of our overall goal of ensuring ‘clean and plentiful water’ by working with the water industry to set a personal water consumption target and agree cost effective measures to meet it.

Government also wants to further understand the effect of establishing a target for personal water consumption, and what that target should be.

This consultation has been launched to help us understand a wider range of potential measures to reduce personal water consumption, and what reduction in water consumption is technically feasible and/or achievable.

This document contains a consultation on methods we can use to reduce personal water use, and also a call for evidence to gather data and information on what an achievable but ambitious personal consumption target could be.

Why your views matter

We want to understand what the potential measures are to reduce domestic personal water usage, and what reduction in water consumption is technically feasible and achievable. We also invite respondents to suggest additional measures to reduce personal water usage.

We also want to gather people’s views, thoughts and feelings on the various measures to reduce personal water consumption.

We are keen to hear from anyone with an interest in measures for reducing personal water consumption, including:

  • individuals;
  • water companies;
  • water industry groups;
  • academics;
  • institutes;
  • consultancies;
  • non-government organisations;
  • manufacturers; and
  • housing developers.

Details for how to submit an offline response are within the consultation document below.  

If you would like to keep in contact with us to express interest in this, or any other Defra consultation, please give us your details through the link below.


  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Environmental campaigners
  • Water/water Industry sector
  • Environmental professional services
  • House Building Industry
  • Property Management
  • Households
  • Local Authorities
  • Consumer Groups
  • Local Authorities
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • Families
  • Water suppliers
  • Trading Standards Officers
  • Environmental Health Officers


  • Natural environment
  • Climate change
  • Green infrastructure
  • Sustainable development
  • Water quality
  • Water Bill
  • Water conservation
  • Local environments
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Conservation
  • Water Abstraction
  • House Building and Planning
  • Water Act
  • Water Industry charging
  • Water Industry licencing