Watch our four short videos about the conflict between our water use and protecting our precious streams and rivers (including the Cam) - and what we can do about them. We made them for Earth Optimism 2021.
View Stephen Tomkins's talk on "Safeguarding our local water resources" here.
Here in Cambridge our water come from underground, mostly from the chalk under the Gog Magog Hills. This is a great resource as it acts as a giant reservoir, plus the water is filtered naturally by the chalk as it flows down into the aquifer. However, the same aquifer feeds streams that provide important habitat for wildlife. If the level drops too far then those streams can dry up - as they did in summer 2019. The flow in the River Cam was reduced to a trickle too for the same reason. It only takes one or two dry winters for this to happen. See this demo for how our water use affects the chalk streams.
Not entirely, though it definitely makes it worse. Climate change brings extreme weather of all kinds:
The main thing is to use less water, both at home and in the garden. Here are some tips but there are links to more help on the Links page.
Photograph: Yvonne Chamberlain © 2018
Source: the Waterlight Project
Ruth Hawksley (Wildlife Trust BCN) says: These habitats are very rare, our local equivalent of rainforests... It's their "special water" that makes chalk streams important - that water has been slowly filtered through the chalk so that by the time it emerges at the springs that start chalk streams, it is crystal clear, low in nutrients and pollutants, and at a fairly stable temperature .... All these conditions allow plants and invertebrates to thrive that you might not find in other places. These attract larger creatures such as kingfisher, otter, and water vole to create a diverse community.