Rain doesn’t ease drought warning

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THIS week’s torrential downpours in Eastbourne have done little to replenish the low levels at reservoirs.

With a temporary hosepipe ban in place because of drought conditions, South East Water, which provides drinking water in the area, says although the rain is very welcome, more is needed to help restore water resources to normal levels following two unusually dry winters.

The Environment Agency also announced this week that the drought conditions could last until Christmas if the situation does not improve.

A spokesperson at South East Water said, “We are closely following our Drought Plan and monitoring rainfall, water resource levels and customer demand.

“We can’t predict the future but it is likely the temporary use restrictions we have introduced will need to last at least through the summer and they will need to remain in place until we are confident our water resources are secure.

“We are heartened by the positive response received from customers, who understand the seriousness of the situation and that efforts to save water, no matter how small, can together add up to a significant difference.”

At present customers are banned from using hosepipes and concessions usually given to elderly customers have also been removed because of the water shortage.

The spokesperson said, “We continue to warn that if the situation does not significantly improve, it may have to remove existing concessions, and introduce even wider restrictions, to protect both customers’ water supplies and the water environment.”