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.

15,315 Million litres each day
Equivalent to
179 million
average sized baths

Source: Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales; England and Wales, Jan 2015 - Dec 2015

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

Million litres per day
  • 15,315 million litres for water companies to produce drinking water
  • 429 million litres for agriculture
  • 5,067 million litres for industrial processes
  • 30,083 million litres for other uses including production of electricity
Source: Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales; England and Wales, Jan 2015 - Dec 2015

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.
348 Lakes, reservoirs and rivers
2,025 Underground sources

Source: Drinking Water Inspectorate; England and Wales, Jan 2022 - Dec 2022

  • 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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