Southern Water’s five-year metering project – to install nearly 500,000 water meters across Kent, Sussex and Hampshire – is protecting the environment by saving the region huge quantities of water.
Meters are vital to help preserve water resources because their installation generally results in customers substantially cutting their water use. On the Isle of Wight, for example, where every property is metered, water consumption has dropped from 165 litres per person a day to 135 litres – a substantial saving of 18 per cent.
By this rule of thumb, installing meters in half a million properties by 2015 means over a million people will each be saving 30 litres per person a day – representing a huge total saving of over 30 million litres of water a day, more than enough to meet the needs of Worthing, Eastbourne and Bognor Regis combined.
Other valuable environmental benefits also accrue because savings brought about by improving the water efficiency habits of the public significantly reduce the increasing demand for water which is damaging rivers and their habitats.
Explained Darren Bentham, Southern Water’s Director of Metering: “In order to meet the public’s demand for water, we estimate that during the past year alone we have pumped 70,000 million litres of water from rivers. That’s enough to fill nearly 80 Olympic sized swimming pools every day.”
Environmentally the world’s largest metering programme brings further benefits because consuming less water means less water has to be treated. That means using fewer chemicals and consequently reducing the number of road tanker deliveries, making an environmental impact on less fuel and pollution.
“We take a green eye to everything we do,” said Geoff Loader, Southern Water’s Director of Communications. “Even printing the literature for metering customers on 100% recycled paper has saved over 1,100kg of carbon dioxide – equivalent to enough wood to make 70,000 cricket bats, enough electricity to power 28 houses for a year and enough water to fill 18,000 baths.”
Southern Water is providing customers with practical advice on how to save water - from simple tips such as turning off the tap when brushing your teeth to full home water audits – plus information on the various tariffs available.
Southern Water customers can conduct a water audit of their homes by visiting www.yourwatermeter.co.uk where there is also information on how to obtain price discounts on water-saving products.