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Play your part, be water smart

22nd July 2019

As the region prepares to welcome millions of holidaymakers over the school summer break, South West Water is asking everyone to play their part and be water smart.

Total reservoir storage is 73.2% compared to 75.2% at this time last year, reflecting the relatively dry winter and spring.

Rob Scarrott, Head of Water Resources and Water Efficiency, said: “Even though it often seems to rain a lot, the South West has actually had the second lowest amount of rainfall in the UK over the last six months.

“We have no immediate concerns, but we expect demand for water to increase as we head into the peak summer season.

“We’re asking everyone to use water wisely to help conserve supplies. This not only helps to ensure there’s enough to go around but will save our customers money on their bills and help protect the environment.

“Small changes in water use make a big difference when multiplied by the millions of people we serve. Gardening typically accounts for much of the additional demand we see during hot weather, and this is where collectively we can all help conserve supplies.

“While we’re asking customers to do their bit, our people are working hard behind the scenes to detect and repair any leaks quickly and to make sure we have as much water available as possible. We’re using new technology to track those difficult to find leaks and increasing the number of people to fix them.”

The company is sharing its top tips for saving water in the garden and the home, which also saves money for customers on a meter:

In the garden:

  • Invest in a water butt – the average roof collects around 300 full water butts of rain a year
  • Use a watering can instead of a hose
  • If your garden needs watering, do so early morning or evening to reduce evaporation
  • Use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose to clean your car (or leave it for another week – it’s only going to get dusty!)

In the home:

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge so you don’t have to run your tap cold
  • Use a bowl for washing up / rinsing fruit and veg – then use this water for plants   
  • Have a shower instead of a bath
  • Only use your dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load (this will save money on your energy bills too)
  • Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need (this will save energy too)
  • Fix leaking taps and toilets

See website for information: www.southwestwater.co.uk/savewater   

Notes to editors  

  • Water is always a precious resource and we encourage our customers to use it wisely, whatever the weather. This helps to keep customer bills down and protects the environment.
  • Levels in our smaller, local reservoirs reflect the ongoing lack of rainfall and increased demand for water but we are closely monitoring the situation and supplementing these sources using our three largest, strategic reservoirs – Wimbleball, Roadford and Colliford. This is normal operating practice.
  • Since 1996 (the last year the South West Water region had water restrictions), we have reduced leakage from the pipe network by 40% and achieved our leakage targets.
  • Over 80% of domestic customers now have meters (compared with 8% in 1995). Customers who switch to a meter tend to use 15% less water as a result.
  • We have invested heavily to secure supplies and been innovative in ways of increasing our reservoir storage, for example converting two former clay pits in Cornwall at Park and Stannon. We have also invested in pump storage schemes at Wimbleball and Colliford to improve resilience.

For further information please contact:

South West Water