Southern Water is embarking on a unique partnership with international development charity WaterAid that will benefit people living in the UK – and around the world.
The partnership will deliver projects that encourage people and communities to save water in the South of England while funding water-giving projects in some of the world's poorest communities.
The aim is to twin water-saving projects at home with some of WaterAid’s key projects in developing countries.
Southern Water Chief Executive Officer Ian McAulay said: “Water plays a unique and vital role in all our daily lives, without exception it is critical to our communities, homes, schools and businesses. This is no different in developing countries and I’m delighted that we will be both encouraging our customers in the UK to be more water efficient while making a big difference to those who currently have very little water overseas.
“We’re helping people to think about water use from a different perspective and to appreciate the delicate balance that exists for many communities around the world.
"Through this fantastic project we will be sharing our insight and knowledge, and funding some of WaterAid’s most critical projects to ensure that clean water to drink and wash with is available to as many as possible.”
Strategic Partnerships Director at WaterAid, Lisa Greenlee, said: “We are delighted to be working with Southern Water on this exciting new initiative. We all know that water is a precious resource and we cannot take it for granted, which is why it is so fantastic that Southern Water is not only raising awareness of this important issue at home, they will also be working to get clean water to communities living in poverty, helping change lives for good.”
Southern Water is funding £500k of projects through WaterAid over the next five years.
Southern Water is also working with Thames Water and WaterAid to support developers building up to 15,000 new homes in Ebbsfleet Garden City. The aim is for residents to each use 100 litres of water per day, ultimately working towards becoming 'water neutral'.
The two water companies will combine resources to offer a 'Smarter Homes' visit to all existing properties close to the new development.
The country and programmes Southern Water and WaterAid will be supporting are still to be confirmed.
The South East is classed as a water-stressed area. Southern Water's Target 100 initiative aims to reduce water consumption per person to create a more resilient water future for all Southern Water’s customers.
Southern Water is a founding member of WaterAid, a charity set up by the water sector.
Southern Water is already leading the sector in water efficiency through its pioneering Universal Metering Programme and water-saving visits to 28,000 homes across the South East, which has reduced water consumption to 129 litres per person per day (the UK average is 141 litres per person per day).
This new partnership is supported by Southern Water’s ambitious business plan for 2020 – 2025, which puts resilience at the heart of its strategy and vision.
WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @WaterAidUK or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid.
• 844 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.
• 2.3 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.
• Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.
• Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.
• Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.