Southern Water urges people to ‘use water wisely’ as ‘demand outstrips supply’

Hot weather has seen demand for water rise significantly Photo by Andreas Lischka

Southern Water is appealing for people to save water, saying demand is currently outstripping supply.

The water company says this week has seen the highest levels of use by households and businesses in the county since the peak of last summer’s heatwave, when temperatures hit 34C.

Southern Water says demand is 15% higher than it should be for this time of year – the equivalent of 14 Olympic sized swimming pools too much every day – and this is putting pressure on the water network.

A Southern Water spokesperson said: “Although our reservoirs and groundwater sources are currently in a good position, if demand continues to stay at these extremely high levels and the dry weather continues, this will impact our ability to keep up with demand by treating water fast enough. It can also put added strain on pipes.

“That is why we are asking our customers to help us make sure there is enough water to go round in the weeks and months to come by using water wisely.”

Tim McMahon

Tim McMahon, Water Director at Southern Water, added: “We know when it’s hot it can be hard to save water, but small changes at home really do make a big difference.

“For example, a standard paddling pool can use up to 400 litres of water – almost an average family of four’s daily use, and using a garden hose and sprinkler for just one hour uses 1,000 litres more than one person’s entire weekly water use.

“By avoiding or minimising such high use, we can all play our part in saving water during this hot period.

“Although we are seeing this in Kent at this moment, the message remains the same across our region. Please help us keep your taps running.”

Margate pumping station Photo Southern Water

Southern Water says it is moving water around the region to areas where it’s needed the most and has doubled the number of teams working 24/7 to find and fix leaks as well as introducing new technologies to detect leaks quickly.

Tim added: “While climate change is increasing the challenges due to more common drought events, we continue to do everything we can to prepare for the arrival of hot weather and low rainfall every summer.

“These measures include preserving our groundwater sources for the summer months, continued investments in our reservoirs and water treatment works, and doubling the number of teams working 24/7 to find and fix leaks in our network with latest technology.”

Southern Water serves 2.6 million customers with drinking water and 4.6 million with wastewater services, covering Kent, East and West Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

On an average day it supplies 556 million litres of water and treats 13371 million litres of wastewater.

Find helpful tips and advice on how to save water around the home.