Types of water resources

When rain falls it’s our job to capture, store, transport and treat this precious resource. Our water resources are strictly managed to make sure we always have enough supply to match demand.

Below are some of the types of water resources that we manage.

Picture of the River Stour in Bournemouth
Our water resources


Across Devon and Cornwall, there’s approximately 4435 miles of rivers. Each one is home to numerous animals, plants and fish. We take water directly from rivers into our treatment works to turn it into drinking water you can enjoy.
Siblyback Reservoir
Our water resources


We own 23 reservoirs in Devon and Cornwall. Reservoirs are incredibly important in keeping us sustainable. Pipes run from the reservoirs to water treatment works, providing them with water all year round. When we need to abstract water from the rivers, we make sure there's enough available by releasing water from reservoirs. This means there’s plenty of water for wildlife to live in after we’ve taken what we need.

3 workers surrounding a borehole
Our water resources


When it rains, water seeps into the ground. Depending on the geology of an area, some of the water is held within the rocks – this is groundwater. We can access this water by pumping it up through boreholes. Some of it emerges from the ground as springs from which we capture water in chambers and pipes. Collected groundwater is sent to the treatment works for processing. This water source is particularly important for the Isles of Scilly and East Devon.


A surfer is running along a sandy beach towards the sea
Our water resources

The Sea

On St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, the sea also acts as a source of water. There's a desalination plant there where seawater is treated to remove the salt. This water is then transported for final treatment at the water treatment works. We're excited about introducing desalination on the mainland and the other four islands on the Isles of Scilly.

Water resources - Latest situation

Thank you for your efforts in saving water. Levels correct as on 17 June 2024.

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Nature-based solutions

Some of the farming techniques used in the South West, as good as they are for crops and animals, play havoc with the sensitive ecosystems of our rivers and lakes. Our Upstream Thinking team works with farmers to change this.

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Improvements we've made between 2022 and 2023

During the hosepipe ban, we were busy increasing the resilience of our water network to help better secure our water resources for the future. These are just some of the improvements we made during that time.

1new reservoir
at Hawk's Tor
more storage in Cornwall
more storage in Devon
leaks fixed

Water Resources Management Plan

Reviewed every year and rewritten every 5 years, this plan covers how we're managing the supply and demand of water in our 5 Water Resource Zones.

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Conserving the supply

Water is a precious resource. We don’t like wasting water, and we’re doing a lot of work to stop leakage and reduce our operational consumption of water.

Tackling leakage

With drones, listening sticks, satellites and more, we're out detecting and repairing leaks everyday.

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Using less water

In our Water Resources Plan, we promised to reduce our own use of water by over 2 million litres per day. By recycling water and upgrading our facilities, we’re smashing that target.

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Water is Precious

Every drop you save is precious and makes a huge difference to our rivers and reservoirs, keeping them healthy places for wildlife to live.

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Water resources market opportunites

Are you a water provider, leakage service or water source owner? Would you like to suggest a new solution to providing water or a way to manage our current water more effectively? We want to hear from you.

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