Water is the world's most consumed resource, yet the average person in the UK spends just ten minutes a year thinking about their water supply. Use it wisely to reduce your bills and protect our rivers and wetlands.
In the south east there is 50 per cent less rainfall than the rest of the UK. By 2080 we expect the population in our supply area to increase by nearly half – that’s a million people all needing water for their vital every day needs.
But we cannot make any more. There will always only be the same amount of water on our planet and we can only use about 1 per cent of it. And it’s not just people either – the need to conserve water to protect our environment and the wildlife it supports has never been greater.
Everyone can use water wisely. We are committed to being water efficient by tackling leakage and installing more water meters across our region, but we need customers to help by being careful with the amount of water they use. But why?
In our supply area each person uses around 160 litres a day which is higher than the UK average and the same as delivering 675 pints every day to each household.
Treating and distributing water takes large amounts of energy, with even more needed in the home to heat water for bathing and showering. This adds to carbon emissions – in fact around 6 per cent of UK emissions are linked to water use.
To keep our rivers and wetlands healthy, and so protect their wildlife habitats, we need to limit the amount of water we abstract. This is especially important in sensitive habitats like chalk streams, such as the River Wandle and the River Hogsmill in North Surrey/South London.
Warm weather and lower water pressure
During warm weather we use a lot more water – up to an extra 60 million litres a day across our supply area - and with a lot more people at home at the moment we are seeing a surge in demand.
When usage increases, it puts a strain on our distribution network and means that regrettably sometimes we struggle to get enough water through our pipes and to everyone’s taps fast enough.
This can result in isolated areas of low pressure or no water.
What are we doing?
- We are increasing our water production to get more water across our network
- We are reconfiguring parts of our network to take water from more plentiful supplies and boost pressure
What can you do to help?
On average, each of our customers uses about 150 litres of water a day and usually a lot more than this on a warm day.
The more water you use, the higher the likelihood that you and your neighbours could experience lower pressure as all pipes have limited capacity regardless of how much water we can pump into them. Anyone who has been standing in the shower when someone fills a kettle or flushes a loo downstairs will understand the principle.
Every drop really does count – if we all save a little, then together we can save a lot! Even small changes in the way you use water can make a huge difference, whatever the weather.
- Please keep washing your hands as per the Government’s advice
- Most garden centres and nurseries have now reopened and we know many customers will be outside planting and watering. Hosepipes and sprinklers use a huge amount of water – around 1000 litres an hour – so please use a watering can instead and recycle water where you can
- Consider installing a water butt – plants prefer rainwater
Thanks for your support in keeping all our taps flowing.
This section contains a wealth of information about how you can save water and money because if we all save a little, together we can save a lot.
Ways to save water and money
Whatever your reason for wanting to save, see how much you use and what you can save with the GetWaterFit calculator from our partners Save Water Save Money.
Every Drop Counts community fund
Water is the most precious resource, yet we tend to take it for granted. To avoid further water shortages we need a major culture shift in how we value water.
One of the ways we are helping with this is by providing the ‘Every Drop Counts' community fund for local non-profit organisations to apply for, which they can use to help fund a project with a close link to water efficiency. These projects could include: drought resistant planting, installing water efficient toilets/taps/showers, buying water butts and plumbing repairs. If you think you might be interested in applying for this you can find more information and apply here
Every Drop Counts customer leaflet
From where your water comes from to water saving tips and how we can support you, this leaflet is your one-stop-shop to being more water efficient.
How to make the most of every drop
Whether you're a community group, local authority or business, this guide has information and tips to help you talk to your staff, customers and community about water saving. It can support in running events or a social media campaign about the need to use water wisely.