What is your water company doing to cope with the dry weather?

Thames Water is the latest to announce that it expects to implement a Temporary Prohibition (PA)

Thames Water is the latest to announce that it expects to implement a Temporary Prohibition (PA)

Four water companies have announced hose bans in the UK, as another heatwave is set to scorch the country this week.

Thames Water is the latest to announce that it expects to implement a temporary operating ban (TUB) in the coming weeks due to the dry weather.

Here are each water company’s current policies regarding hose bans and water use across the UK, along with water leakage statistics for those based in England and Wales:

– Anglian Water

Area: East of England and Hartlepool

Customers: Six million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 86 litres

A spokesperson said: “We currently have no snake bans across our region and we are working hard to keep it that way. But we are keeping a close eye on river levels right now as things can change quickly and the forecast for this month remains dry and warm.”

– Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru)

Area: most of Wales and parts of the West of England bordering Wales

Customers: Three million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 116 litres

The company imposed a snake ban for customers in the Pembrokeshire region and a small part of Carmarthenshire on Tuesday.

The temporary ban will be in place “until we have had enough rain to replenish our water resources”.

– Hafren Dyfrdwy

Area: north-east and mid-Wales

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 134 litres

The water supplier currently has no restrictions in place, but has not ruled out implementing “joint policies” with the Welsh Government if the dry weather situation worsens.

A spokesperson said: “While we have no concerns about the raw water position for Hafren Dyfrdwy, we continue to monitor the situation and are part of the Welsh Government’s Taskforce, working closely with them to create joint policies and processes in the event of drought actions .”

– Northumbrian Water

Customers: 2.7 million

Area: Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham and parts of North Yorkshire

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 110 litres

The website says there are “no plans in place to implement drought measures such as snake bans,” but adds that it is “good practice” to use water wisely.

– Severn Trent Water

Range: From the Bristol Channel to the Humber and from mid Wales to the East Midlands

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 112 litres

The region covered by Severn Trent Water currently has no snake bans in place.

However, the company said it will continue to monitor reservoir levels and water demand “closely”, as it does every year, for any changes.

– Sørwestvann

Area: Devon, Cornwall, parts of Dorset and Somerset

Customers: 1.7 million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 118 litres

South West water customers are at risk of “formal restrictions” being introduced in the coming weeks.

The company announced on 3 August that it may have to make the “difficult decision” to impose restrictions, “if the exceptional levels of demand and persistent dry weather continue”.

– Southern water

Area: South West England, including Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, most of Wiltshire and parts of Gloucestershire and Hampshire

Customers: 2.5 million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 87 litres

A snake ban has been in place for customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight since 5 August.

The company has applied for a drought permit on the river test from the Environment Agency to allow them to continue “taking water if levels continue to drop”.

– Thames Water

Area: London and Thames Valley

Customers: 15 million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 161 litres

Thames Water has said it plans to issue a hose ban in the coming weeks “given the long-term forecast” for hot and dry weather for the region.

They added: “The timing has not been confirmed due to a number of operational and legal procedural requirements, but we will update our customers, partners, regulators and stakeholders at the earliest opportunity to ensure a coordinated approach.

“In the meantime, we continue to encourage our customers to use only what they need for their essential use.”

– United Utilities Water

Area: Northwest in a region from Crewe to Carlisle

Customers: More than three million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 130 litres

A spokesperson for the company told the PA news agency that it is “not considering any restrictions on the use” of water at this time, but encourages customers to use water wisely.

– Wessex Water

Area: South West including Dorset, Somerset, Bristol and parts of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Hampshire

Customers: 2.8 million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 111 litres

No hose ban is planned by Wessex Water, but the company is warning that reservoir and groundwater levels are low and is urging customers to “use water responsibly”.

– Yorkshire water

Area: West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, part of North Lincolnshire, most of North Yorkshire and part of Derbyshire

Customers: More than five million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 130 litres

A spokesperson said: “We have not applied for drying orders or implemented temporary bans (TUBs) – they are both part of our drying plan and so are tools that we can use if/when we need to.”

– Affinity water

Area: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey and other parts of the South East

Customers: 3.83 million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 120 litres

Parts of the South East covered by Affinity Water are “unlikely” to see any snake bans this year.

The company’s website says: “At current levels, it is unlikely that we will need to introduce restrictions this year.”

– Bristol water

Area: Bristol city, northeast Somerset and south Gloucestershire

Customers: More than 500,000

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 69 litres

In late July, the company said: “We will continue to monitor the situation, but with our current water resource outlook, we do not foresee any problems with the supply to customers.”

– Portsmouth Water

Area: Portsmouth and surrounding area

Customers: 698,000

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 79 litres

Despite Southern Water issuing a temporary ban for nearby Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Water reassured customers on Twitter on Tuesday that “there is no hose ban in the Portsmouth Water supply area”.

They added: “But please, please, use water responsibly! We’re all in this together.”

– Southeast water

Area: South East England, including Eastbourne, Maidenhead and North Kent

Customers: 2.2 million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 99 litres

A hose ban will come into force on Friday for customers in Kent and Sussex.

The company announced: “We have had no choice but to restrict the use of hoses and sprinklers from 00:01 on Friday 12 August within our Kent and Sussex supply area until further notice.”

– South Staffs Water

Area: West Midlands, South Staffordshire, South Derbyshire, North Warwickshire and North Worcestershire

Customers: 1.3 million

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 111 litres

Head of Water Strategy and Environment Natalie Akroyd said: “With the recent warm weather and below average rainfall for this time of year, we continue to monitor our water resources and encourage our customers to use water wisely.

“We currently have no plans to introduce a snake ban.”

– SES water

Area: parts of Surrey, Kent and South London

Customers: 745,000

Leakage per property per day in 2020-2021: 82 litres

SES Water said: “Although some of the nearby water companies have announced hose bans, we are not yet at that stage.

“We will of course keep the need for any restrictions under careful consideration for the rest of the summer period, but this will depend on the decline in our groundwater and reservoir sources, and the level of customer demand.”

– Scotch water

A spokesperson for Scottish Water told the PA there were no plans for restrictions on water use in Scotland.

They added: “We monitor and manage our water resources and in some cases reservoirs are topped up from alternative water sources to ensure supply resilience for customers.”

– Northern Ireland Water

A spokesperson for Northern Ireland Water said: “The amount of water in our storage reservoirs is kept under continuous review and we are happy with our current storage levels. However, it is important that customers continue to use water wisely, particularly given the forecast for the next few days.”

“At this time, NI Water is not introducing a hose ban. However, the situation is being closely monitored and if storage is significantly reduced or demand becomes excessive, NI Water will need to consider the possibility of taking action to protect the water supply.

Water leakage information was compiled by the Discover Water information dashboard, and is based on information agreed by water companies, water regulators, the UK and Welsh Government and the Consumer Council for Water.

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