Water Industry News

Southern Water Publishes Drought Plan

Utility company Southern Water has published a new drought plan, setting out how it intends to maintain water supplies and promote water-saving solutions during dry conditions, which are expected to become more frequent as a result of climate change.


The updated plans include details on how the water supplier intends to do even more to locate and repair leaks across its network, promote free water-saving devices and home audits, move water to where it’s needed most and raise awareness across the region when pressure is being placed on supplies, the Island Echo reports.


It also intends to bring in temporary use bans and non-essential use bans in order to restrict usage both at home and at work, as well as applying for permission to maintain supplies from water sources and monitor the environment to take action as required to further support wildlife.


Nick Price, water resources planning manager at Southern Water, explained that the south-east is one of the UK’s most water-stressed regions, which is why a drought plan is such an essential part of ensuring that sufficient water continues to flow.


He went on to say: “We all have a role to play in tackling droughts and the earlier we can all take action and safeguard supplies the more we can reduce the impact on the environment and wildlife and delay the introduction of restrictions for activities like watering gardens and washing cars with hosepipes.


“Supporting vulnerable customers’ access to water and by only bringing in restrictions on water use by businesses in a severe drought are also key parts of our plan.”


The water supplier also has a Target 100 demand reduction programme in place, which intends to encourage customers to reduce personal consumption to an average of 100 litres  a day by 2040, while it works to reduce leakage by 40 per cent by 2040.


To help reduce wastage, Southern Water has four key initiatives in place – smart meters home visits to provide advice and water-saving solutions, as well as leak detection in domestic properties, customer contact to better understand customer usage, and incentive programmes for customers.


A community incentive scheme was recently trialled in a part of Hampshire that had above-average water usage per person, with rewards offered if water-saving targets were hit to reduce demands on the Test and Itchen Rivers. Education campaigns were carried out, as well as water efficiency visits, while leakage reduction efforts were also ramped up.


The local community succeeded in reducing its consumption by eight per cent, which led to free swimming lessons for all children in the local primary school.


If you’d like to reduce the water footprint of your business, get in touch with the team at SwitchWaterSupplier.com to discuss having a water audit survey carried out across your site. This will reveal any weak or vulnerable areas you may have and allow us to recommend the appropriate water-saving measures for you.