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Keeping customers' taps flowing in warmer weather

Hotter summers and a rising population mean there’s less water to go around. Because we can’t ‘make’ more water, we must do what we can where we can to save a little more and make sure there’s enough to go around now and in the future.

During the summer months, the demand for water in the South East increases. Not only are our customers drinking more to stay hydrated, but tourism increases too meaning more water is needed.

The winter just gone has been one of the wettest on record, so you might be asking why an increase in water demand matters. It’s a fair question.

Hotter summers and a rising population mean there’s less water to go around. Because we can’t ‘make’ more water, we must do what we can where we can to save a little more and make sure there’s enough to go around now and in the future.

Although our network and pumping stations have been built to deal with higher demand, sometimes when demand increases too quickly, they struggle to keep up. As a result, we have to make sure there are measures in place to keep our customer's taps flowing.

We recently caught up with our Water Planning Manager, Richard, to hear more on what we do to keep the network flowing when the demand increases.

Girl turning tap on.

What are we doing?

When the weather is hot, people use more water, which means we need to put more into supply. We also need to adapt our plans to update which river or reservoir we use as a water source and how we distribute this to our customers.

When there’s a long period of dry weather, we plan to use more groundwater sources, rather than rivers, to stop river levels getting too low. We can even move water between sites, making sure there’s enough water in each county.

If one of our pumping stations requires maintenance during the summer, this can present us with even more challenges. Fortunately, we have plans in place allowing us to temporarily bring in water from another treatment site, to make sure our customers are supplied with water.

There’s a big team of us working to keep the taps flowing, including hydrologists, strategists, and operations teams. It’s also important we work in collaboration with others across the industry. We’re proud to work with Portsmouth Water and South East Water to help all our customers with their water needs.

What can customers do?

Although we have measures in place to keep the network flowing, we’re asking our customers to help by using water wisely, especially during the summer. Small changes and swaps in day-to-day tasks can make a huge difference including:

-             Instead of watering your garden with a hose or sprinkler, use a watering can.

-             Reach for a bucket and a sponge to wash the car with instead of a hose.

-             Ditch the plastic doggy swimming pool and instead pop a towel in the freezer to keep your pooch cool.

-             Although summer is here, it’s likely we’ll have a few rainy days too, so collect rainwater and use it to water plants in the garden.

-             Being mindful of your time in the shower can help save water and money on your bills too.

We’re all going to want to make the most of the sun this summer, which might mean using more water. But being mindful of our use can make a big difference. For more water-saving tips and information on what we’re doing to save water too, click HERE

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