Where water comes from

The amount of water taken each day to produce your water

Water companies take millions of litres a day but must be careful to balance society’s needs while ensuring there is enough for the environment.

15,827 Million litres each day
Equivalent to
198 million
average sized baths

Source: Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales; England and Wales, Jan 2014 - Dec 2014

It is not only water companies that take water from the environment

54,323
Million litres per day
  • 15,827 million litres for water companies to produce drinking water
  • 74 million litres for agriculture
  • 7,775 million litres for industrial processes
  • 30,647 million litres for other uses including production of electricity
Source: Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales; England and Wales, Jan 2014 - Dec 2014

Your water comes from many sources

Water is found from different places before being collected, treated, and then pumped through many kilometres of pipes to your home.
426 Lakes, reservoirs and rivers
1,961 Underground sources

Source: Drinking Water Inspectorate; England and Wales, Jan 2016 - Dec 2016

  • Collecting and storing water is the first stage of delivering water to customers. 

    Water is obtained from lakes, reservoirs, rivers or underground sources.  Although there are more underground sources, most of the water that companies collect comes from lakes, reservoirs and rivers.

    This untreated water is then pumped to water treatment plants. In some cases, the untreated water is stored in reservoirs – this helps with the treatment process as large particles sink to the bottom. 

    The amount of water that companies can take out of rivers or underground sources is controlled by the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales.

Want to know more about the treatment of water?

Please click here to see the water treatment cycle

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