The Institute of Water Rising Stars are completing a 22,000 step (12 mile) walk around London on Tuesday the 29th October, starting at WaterAid Head Office, Durham St, Vauxhall at 13:00, to raise money for WaterAid, all dressed in water related fancy dress, including a toilet!

Around the world, 1 in 9 people don’t have access to clean water within or close to their home. This distance is to emulate the distance that mothers and young children have to walk every day to collect water.

Those living without this everyday essential do not have an equal chance to be healthy, educated and financially secure.

WaterAid has reached 27 million people with clean water so far, but there is still a long way to go.

The Institute of Water Rising Stars are a group of Water Sector professionals who have been identified as being new industry talent and given the opportunity to develop their skills.

By doing this walk, the Rising Stars will be raising money and awareness to support this cause; they will be walking past Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, London Eye, Horse Guards Parade, The Mall, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford St., Regent St., John Snow Water Pump, Leicester Square, Somerset House, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Golden Hinde, Shakespeare’s Globe, and Westminster Bridge.

To donate please visit

Food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply, a new report from WaterAid warns.

 As high-income countries buy products with considerable ‘water footprints’ – the amount of water used in production – from water-scarce countries, WaterAid is calling on this World Water Day for the production of these goods to be made more sustainable and for consumers to be more thoughtful in their purchasing habits.

In many areas that amount of water pumped out of underground aquifers (groundwater) for irrigation exceeds the amount that is naturally replenished – meaning that wells and pumps can run dry.

Some products have a huge water footprint:

  • Your morning cup of coffee contains about 200 ml of actual water, yet the ground coffee takes 140 litres to produce.
  • Avocados have an estimated water footprint of almost 2,000 litres per kilogram.
  • Rice accounts for 40% of all global irrigation, and 17% of global groundwater depletion, with an average water footprint of 2,500 litres of water per kilogram.
  • Cotton is a thirsty fabric: grown and produced in India it has a water footprint of 22,500 litres per kilogram; in Pakistan, this is an average of 9,800 litres and in the United States about 8,100 litres.

Just under two-thirds of the world’s population, or close to 4 billion people, live in water-scarce areas, where for at least part of the year demand exceeds supply. This number is expected to go up to 5 billion by 2050. One in nine people around the world currently do not have clean water close to home.

Export of food and crops, while important sources of income for most countries, contributes to this problem if production is not made sustainable. Industrial and agricultural use of water should not be prioritised over people’s ability to get water daily for their basic needs – particularly with climate change making things worse.


Virginia Newton-Lewis, WaterAid’s Senior Policy Analyst said:

“We all have a role to play in reducing the impact our consumption has on water-scarce communities around the world. Whether you’re a consumer, business or decision-maker, being more conscious about the effects of our actions on other parts of the world is crucial.

“It is unacceptable that the progress in increasing access that we have made over the past nearly two decades might now be undone. We need to realise that our consumption is not sustainable and take urgent action to change our ways.”

The consequences in some of the water exporting countries are dire:

  • In Ethiopia, climactic changes alongside mass irrigation of crops for export, including roses, have been linked to the shrinking of Lake Abjata.[i]
  • Pakistan is an extremely water-stressed country: the ratio of withdrawal to available supply is over 80%.[ii] Yet, Pakistan is the largest groundwater exporter – through production of crops – with 7.3 billion cubic meters in 2010.[iii]
  • India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23% between 2000 and 2010.[iv] India is the third largest exporter of groundwater – 12% of the global total.[v] India also uses the largest amount of groundwater – 24% of the global total.[vi]  One billion people in the country live in water scarce areas.[vii]

In 2015, the global community committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, which promises that by 2030 everyone will have access to clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene.

The human right to water must take priority ahead of other competing demands.


WaterAid Chief Executive Tim Wainwright said:

“This World Water Day, we are more determined than ever to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone everywhere, by 2030. The global consequences of unequal access to water and rapidly growing water scarcity, fuelled by a growing demand on water resources and the impact of climate and population changes, underline the need for co-ordinated international action on water security.

“An urgent understanding is needed to ensure that the push for economic development through exports of food and clothing, do not imperil current and future generations’ access to water. There can be no sustainable economic development without sustainable and equitable access to water.”


WaterAid has launched a three-year partnership with the John Lewis Foundation, which will help empower communities in Sant Ravi Das Nagar (Bhadohi), India, where John Lewis & Partners carpets are made, by bringing clean water and sanitation to their communities.

The Foundation will donate £100,000 per year to provide 15,000 people in Sant Ravi Das Nagar (Bhadohi) district in Uttar Pradesh with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, while also running a hygiene education programme to reach more than 100,000 people.

Worldwide, one in nine people don’t have clean water close to home, while one in three have nowhere decent to go to the toilet. In India, 163 million people have no clean water close to home and millions more don’t have a decent toilet.

A lack of access to clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene has a serious impact on health, while millions of women and girls worldwide spend hours each day collecting water, holding communities back from reaching their full potential.

Miranda Spottiswoode, Partner & Programme Coordinator for the John Lewis Foundation, said:

“Contributing to the wellbeing of communities in which we operate is our foremost priority. Our shared vision with WaterAid is one of empowerment and improving lives in those in communities. Providing the people of Sant Ravi Das Nagar (Bhadohi) with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene will enable them to live healthier lives, develop new skills, and have more opportunities to earn a living.”

The John Lewis Foundation was established in 2007 to benefit communities in the UK and overseas where John Lewis & Partners operates. It seeks to invest in communities that support the John Lewis & Partners business throughout the world and help them to acquire the relevant skills required for meaningful employment.

WaterAid Director of Communications & Fundraising Marcus Missen said:

 “WaterAid is proud to be working with one of the UK’s most respected brands through our new partnership with the John Lewis Foundation.

“The business community has an important role to play in reducing poverty worldwide. One in five jobs are linked to global supply chains. By investing in water, sanitation and hygiene provision in their supply chains, businesses can help improve the health of whole communities, having a positive impact on their education and livelihoods while also increasing productivity. We are delighted that the John Lewis Foundation has seized the opportunity to drive change across the world through this new initiative. Their support will help transform the lives of communities that play an important role in the carpet supply chain.”

 WaterAid works with local partners in 28 of the world’s poorest countries to bring lasting solutions to communities, while also working with the government to influence policy and practice.

Anyone looking to really put their endurance to the test this year is encouraged to sign up for the Hanningfield Triathlon – a gruelling race which takes place across water bike and foot.

Entry for the Hanningfield Triathlon – which takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Hanningfield Reservoir – is open now. The event is organised by Essex & Suffolk Water in support of the charity WaterAid, which is helping to bring clean drinking water, safe sanitation and hygiene education to people around the world.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday 18 May, and participants can choose between sprint or standard distance, or team up with friends or family to form a relay team and compete together. With sections on water, on bike and on foot, this Triathlon challenges you to take on whatever Mother Nature throws at you!

To enter simply visit this link, choose how you’d like to take part and enter your details –

The cycling and running routes take place in the glorious countryside around the Essex Wildlife Trust visitor centre at Hanningfield and Essex & Suffolk Water’s Cafe on the Water. The swim is a challenging open water course in the actual reservoir – the only time of the year this is allowed due to safety considerations.

Event organiser and Essex & Suffolk Water Project Engineer, Steve Cottis said:

“It’s great to be bringing the Hanningfield Triathlon back for the sixth year, especially after the great feedback we had from people who took part in 2018.

“The event gives you a unique opportunity to test your endurance in the beautiful surroundings of Hanningfield, all while raising money for WaterAid.”

Christine Mellor, Water Industry Partnerships Manager, WaterAid, said:

“It’s fantastic that Essex & Suffolk Water will be holding the Hanningfield Triathlon to raise money for WaterAid once again. The positive changes that follow for communities with access to water and sanitation, are incredible. These basic resources can transform lives and for the first time, people can see a better future for themselves and for their children.”

“WaterAid is delighted to have such incredible support and I’d like to thank all of those who’re energetically taking the plunge in May.”

The Blackwater Tri Club, from Maldon, will once again be providing assistance with equipment and volunteers to marshal the course.

Essex & Suffolk Water would like to remind everyone that swimming in Hanningfield Reservoir can be dangerous and is not permitted, except under careful supervision at events such as the triathlon. For more information about safety at reservoirs see