No hosepipe ban this summer, says Anglian Water
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Despite the heatwave, there will be no hosepipe ban this summer. This is testament to Anglian Water’s long-term planning approach explains Regan Harris.
After a winter that seemed to go on forever, the recent glorious weather has given many of us exactly what we needed – sunshine in spades and long summer days.
But hot days mean the need for more water; to stay hydrated, for our homes and gardens, for businesses and for farmers’ crops that make such a huge contribution to our local economy.
As we are responsible for water supplies in the driest part of the UK, we need to think carefully and long term to make sure we can meet everyone’s needs and leave enough for the environment and our wildlife too.
This year, there’s enough water to go around and no risk of a hosepipe ban for Anglian Water customers. That’s not just luck. We had plenty of rain in the late part of winter, but we’ve also got exceptionally low leakage levels which means we’re not squandering water, and we store lots for dry days.
However, it doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels either. We want to help everyone do their bit to look after this planet’s most precious resource and make sure there’s enough water for many summers to come. So our tips are wide ranging to help every individual customer, such as having a shorter shower, turning off the sprinkler, or using the paddling pool water on the plants when the kids are done for the day, skipping the car wash, or turning off the tap while your brush your teeth.
And we’ve had great tips from customers too, such as using the fish bowl water and vegetable water on the garden, filling bottles with water in winter to provide extra capacity to a water butt, and collecting sink water for the plants. It’s the small things that make a big difference.
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But it’s not all down to our customers. Along with our partners, we are doing our bit.
While you’re looking after the droplets today, we’re busy planning for tomorrow, because in the face of climate change and population growth, putting plans in place now will help reduce the risk of water restrictions in the future.
We’re working alongside other neighbouring water companies, the Environment Agency, local authorities, drainage boards, as well as representatives from the agricultural, education and research sectors to plan long term and tackle the issue of water scarcity.
Known collectively as Water Resources East (WRE), our joint focus is simple – to tackle any impacts a future with more people but fewer raindrops might have on the East of England’s finite water supply.
WRE is looking at all kinds of innovative solutions to the problem, including ideas for a new winter storage reservoir in South Lincolnshire, which would hold excess water from winter rainfall and floods. This water could then be used to benefit Lincolnshire and the whole regional economy by being used to bolster water supply, support agriculture, and enhance fenland conservation as well as reducing flood risk.
Aside from the plans for South Lincolnshire, WRE is looking at other areas to make better use of water resources in the future. These include:
Reducing the demand for all types of water, including for public water supply, manufacturing and agriculture
Capturing and treating flood water, before sending to customers’ taps
Using ancient underground aquifers to store excess water until drier periods when it is needed
Build a network of interconnecting pipes to enable water companies and others to move water around the region more easily to where it is needed most
Even though some of these projects are years in the making, the impetus is there to really make a difference.
The fact that there won’t be a hosepipe ban in our region this year is testament to Anglian Water’s long term planning and ability to store water effectively for when we need it most.
It proves our on-going commitment to driving down leakage is working and right, and it demonstrates how important it is to have water savvy customers.
Thanks to your efforts to use water wisely, people in this region use much less than the average person in the UK.
While our commitment remains to do even more on leakage and to continue finding useful, innovative ways to protect our water resources, we also recognise we need the help of others who need water as much as we do.
That’s what WRE is here to do: bring everyone together to break down silos, think outside the box and get projects off the ground that would not have been possible otherwise.