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Thames Water withdraws application for Drought Order

September 4, 2006 at 12:28 pm

Thames Water has announced that they have rescinded their application for a Drought Order in 2006. The company applied to the Government for the order at the end of June as a precautionary response to very low groundwater levels, and fears of hot, dry months to come. If granted the Drought Order would have allowed Thames Water to restrict water usage for filling private swimming pools and washing cars in London.

However, during July and August the southeast has experienced nearly average rainfall, meaning that reservoir levels have increased to a healthy 78%. Thames Water also said that ‘the response from our customers has been magnificent’, and that despite the July heat-wave, demand for water was down by 8% on the average for this time of year.

The hosepipe ban however, will stay in place for customers of Thames Water and many other companies operating in the southeast. Thames Water has been quick to emphasise that the recent rainfall does not amount to an alleviation of the drought, but merely that ‘it isn’t getting any worse’.

Indeed, the situation is still dire. The south of England is suffering from the worst long-term drought since 1933, and at the same time, the average person is using a staggering 50% more water than 25 years ago, according to beatthedrought.com. Failure to act upon the problem will lead to drastic results for the wildlife, the landscape, and for the public.

Water companies are taking the situation very seriously. Amongst other initiatives to aid the situation, suppliers who are not experiencing such sever drought are sharing their water with those who are. Portsmouth Water for example is supplying 15 million litres a day to Southern Water customers in Sussex (www.beatthedrought.com). Water companies collectively plan to spend £555 million on long-term solutions to water shortage.

It is imperative that consumers continue to take positive steps to minimise water wastage in the home. The role played by Thames Water’s London customers is testimony to what can be achieved. For information on how you can start saving water in your home visit our ‘Help & Advice’ page.

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