Autumn rain needed to refill water sources

WATER company chiefs are looking to the skies and hoping to get early autumn rain falling as well as leaves.

South East Water says autumn and winter rainfall is vital to refill the groundwater sources ready to meet higher demand for water for next spring and summer.

Groundwater levels, which reached record low levels earlier this year, are still recovering from the most recent drought, which was caused by two back-to-back dry winters.

While most are now approaching normal levels, some of the deeper aquifers are still very low.

It’s better news for the company’s reservoirs on the surface, which remain full after the almost unprecedented wet summer.

Following the lifting of the temporary use ban in July, customers have continued to watch their water use despite recent spells of sunny weather, and demand for water has dropped around five per cent compared with the same period last year.

That equates to nearly 30 million litres less water being used every day.

Lee Dance, head of water resources and environmental at South East Water, said, “We thank customers for their fantastic water savings efforts over the summer.

“While restrictions have been removed and our water resources are in a much better place than they were, we must be prudent and are asking our customers to still do their bit to use water wisely, especially if we have another dry autumn and winter.”

As part of South East Water’s on-going water efficiency work, the company says it has invested significant resources in to finding and fixing leaks; fast tracked vital engineering projects to improve supply; and visited events over the summer months to meet customers and help them save water where possible.

The company is also touring more than 50 primary schools in its supply area during October and November with a new play that teaches pupils about the importance of saving water in their homes and encouraging their families to be water savers.

South East Water also worked closely with the Turfgrass Growers Association during the drought and temporary use ban and is supporting its autumn campaign, which aims to promote the responsible use of water in the garden.