Water is essential for life and an increasingly precious resource. We must learn how to use it wisely, conserve it and take steps to ensure that there are adequate future supplies for all. We also need water to be clean, which means encouraging a clean water mind-set to assist long term health. Part of this means doing what we can to discourage any kind of water pollution which can have disastrous effects in and around our rivers and on life itself.

At the same time, and with more extreme weather now a regular feature of life, we need to be vigilant in mitigating the worst effects of flooding, both in built-up areas and in preserving our floodplains as essential parts of overall flood management. In all this we also want to support our local charitable organisations:

  • the River Thame Conservation Trust (RTCT)
  • the Cuttle Brook Conservation Volunteers (CBCV)

who are helping to ensure these principles apply to Thame’s greatest natural water assets, The River Thame, the Cuttle Brook and Kingsey Cuttle Brook.

2.1 Understanding that domestic water supplies are a precious resource

OBJECTIVE: Better awareness, conservation and management of domestic water usage.

Action: Organise water awareness events in Thame and local schools

  • Understanding why we need to conserve water.
  • Practical demonstrations – seek to engage Thames Water (TW).
  • Use TW website tool to calculate and manage water consumption.

OBJECTIVE: Minimised risk of water rationing by effective home water management.

Action: Share successful methods for reduction of home water usage

  • Posts on TGL website or Facebook page ‘watersavinghacks’ etc.
  • Reader tips included in TTC newsletter.
  • Setting targets for reduced water use.

2.2 Flood control and drainage & Avoiding water pollution

OBJECTIVE: Wider use of porous surfaces for driveways, paths and patios in private gardens to reduce rainwater run-of

Action: Awareness and information to help individuals make the right choices when making changes to driveways, paths and patios

OBJECTIVE: Increased rainfall storage and run-off capture in domestic gardens

Action: Awareness and information to help individuals make good choices for patio and garden water storage

Action: Maintain campaigns that ‘only rain goes down the drain’ and promote responsible disposal of harmful products.

2.3 Understanding why clean rivers and streams are an important natural resource


A heightened awareness by individuals and families of the River Thame as a valuable local amenity

An increased awareness of the role of clean water in biodiversity, carbon capture and quality of life

Action: Elevate conservation profiles – of the River Thame Conservation Trust (RTCT) and Cuttle Brook Conservation Volunteers (CBCV) and general links with biodiversity parties by

  • Public Talks and Walks around the River Thame and Cuttle Brook – supported by RTCT and CBCV etc., especially at weekends and school holidays
  • Encouraging more volunteers to engage with RTCT and CBCV and their work, to build understanding of the link between water as a shared resource for biodiversity and people.

OBJECTIVE: Helping ensure that Thame continues to have an adequate and sustainable water supply

Action: Neighbourhood Plan…

…to stress importance of clarity with Thame Water as to adequacy of water supplies and drainage services before further development is permitted.

OBJECTIVE: Encourage all new developments to include water saving measures

Action: Liaise with SODC…

…and others to seek obligations for new domestic and business properties to include water saving measures such as water storage tanks, water harvesting, and grey water use.

2.4 Clean Water

OBJECTIVE: Public Water Fountains to encourage use of refillable bottles.

Action: Discuss options with Thame Town council and Thames Water…

… for installation of fountains in the centre of Thame, Thame parks and other public spaces

OBJECTIVE: Support the work of the River Thame Conservation Trust, RTCT.

Action: Discuss options with Thame Town council and Thames Water…

… for installation of fountains in the centre of Thame, Thame parks and other public spaces

OBJECTIVE: Reduced flooding and run-off pollution

Action: Encourage support from local landowners in cutting back on agricultural chemicals to reduce polluting run-off and improve water quality.

Action: Press for scrutiny of planning applications and on-site follow up to ensure compliance.

Action: Support better construction methods to mitigate risks of run-off flooding from driveways, paths, patios etc.

2.5 Links to our natural water sources

OBJECTIVE: Establish a fuller understanding of water resources in Oxfordshire, the risks of future drought and the vital nature of available clean water to life.

Action: Ongoing reminders and awareness

Always consider water as an essential resource and seeing our town in the wider national and regional context.