Freshwater availability and use in the UK

4th April 2012

This report provides an overview of the freshwater conservation agenda in the UK. A significant element of this is an understanding of where, when and how freshwater is used across industry and commerce – this includes where water is removed from the environment and how this water is returned to the environment.

Although there are already a number of data sources on commercial and industrial water use in the UK, including that gathered by the Environment Agency (EA), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and water utilities, none provides the complete picture.

This study draws together available evidence relating to non-household water use. The study identifies those industrial and commercial sectors and regions of the UK where water use is high, where there is scope for significant reductions in water use and where environmental pressures on water use are greatest.

The main report is supplemented by summary reports for the agriculture and manufacturing subsectors.

Legacy research commissioned by the previous government.