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Use water wisely as demand rises and South West Water steps up supply

29th June 2018

South West Water has been producing an extra 54 million litres of water a day on average to meet the increased demand from customers across Devon and Cornwall as a result of the heatwave, and is asking customers to use water wisely.

The region’s water usage has been steadily increasing over the week and is expected to rise even further as residents and holidaymakers continue to enjoy the sunshine and high temperatures.

Production has been increased by more than 20% at the company’s 29 water treatment works.

While the region’s reservoir levels are healthy, South West Water is asking customers to reduce the amount of water wasted to ensure there is plenty for everyone.

Rob Scarrott, Head of Environment, said: “Water is always a precious resource and we encourage our customers to use it wisely, whatever the weather. This not only helps the environment but also helps to keep customer bills down.

“With the rise in temperatures we’ve seen a big increase in demand for water. Our reservoirs have plenty stored but demand is higher than normal and we’ve increased production to meet that demand.

“To help us keep up with demand we’re asking customer to use water wisely and minimise wastage.”

The company is sharing its top 10 tips for saving water in the home and garden, which also saves money for customers on a meter:

  • 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
  • Use a watering can instead of a hose in the garden
  • 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!)

Rob added: “Being waterwise is about making small changes that make a real difference when lots of people join in.

“Last but not least, make sure you stay hydrated during this wonderful weather – take a reusable bottle filled with tap water when out and about.”

Notes to editors

Our  total reservoir storage is 84.6% compared to 76.2% at this time last year, but with the dry weather we are closely monitoring the situation.

Demand is higher than normal for this time of year due to the heatwave. We have increased production to meet this demand but during peak periods some customers may experience changes in their water pressure.

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.

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.

See our website for more information: https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/water-advice-and-services/start-saving-water-today/ and https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/reservoirlevels


For further information please contact:

South West Water
Published: 29 June 2018