Hosepipe ban update

Posted: Thursday 18th January 2007

Four water companies in the south east of England have today announced they will lift their hosepipe and sprinkler bans effective immediately. They are Thames Water, Three Valleys Water, Southern Water and Sutton and East Surrey Water.

Two companies still have hosepipe bans in place - South East Water and Mid Kent Water. Both companies will review their water resources position at the end of this month and will lift their hosepipe ban when it is prudent to do so.

Water UK Chief Executive Pamela Taylor said: “I would like to thank consumers for their excellent response while restrictions were in place and to ask them to continue to use water wisely.”

“Just as water companies did not implement hosepipe bans at the same time, not all companies can remove the ban simultaneously. Each water company is in a unique position in terms of how much rain has fallen in their region and the water resources available to them.

Rainfall in the first half of winter has replenished reservoirs and groundwater levels are responding well but the south east of England is still recovering from a serious drought.

So far this winter all regions of England and Wales have received more than average rainfall but if the weather changes and the rest of the winter is dry, it could cause further water resource problems over the spring/summer.

Water companies get their supply from a mix of three sources: above ground reservoirs, rivers and underground aquifers. It is the latter source that is still a cause for concern. The winter ‘recharge’ period is not yet over. It is the period from November to March each year when rainfall runs into underground aquifers replenishing supplies.

In the Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Thames Valley regions around 70% of water supplies come from underground sources, with the remaining water abstracted from rivers and reservoirs. But in London, for example, around 80% of all water supplies come from surface water sources, such as the River Thames and River Lee, with groundwater accounting for the final 20% of water supplied.




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