Hosepipe ban stays in spite of rainfall

ANGLIAN Water’s customers are being urged to continue to use water wisely following the latest Environment Agency (EA) report into the ongoing water shortage.

While the EA’s Water Resources and Drought Prospects report shows water levels in rivers and reservoirs have responded to recent exceptionally wet weather, it also warns that many groundwater sources could remain low and under stress for the rest of the year.

The EA says it expects water companies to continue working with customers to save water, and to keep hosepipe bans in place until they are absolutely sure water supplies are secure.

While the situation is under constant review, the temporary usage bans – or hosepipe bans, as they are commonly known – remain in place for now, the Huntingdon-based water company said.

Managing director Peter Simpson explained: “The possibility of a warm summer and a third dry winter is still a concern for our region. The very wet few weeks we experienced in April followed two exceptionally dry years and, most importantly, two dry winters.

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“It was following this prolonged dry period that we introduced the hosepipe ban, and it was not a decision we took lightly. It was an essential step to safeguard water supplies for this year and next.

“That long, dry spell left water levels in reservoirs, rivers and underground aquifers significantly below normal – and in some cases historically low.

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“April’s downpours and May’s average rainfall went quite some way towards replenishing supplies, particularly in our reservoirs. But, as the Environment Agency’s report highlights, some groundwater reserves remain under stress.”

Mr Simpson added: “Almost half of the water we put into supply comes from groundwater sources, particularly in the east of our region. The full impact of the recent rain on these sources remains to be seen, largely because our aquifers refill naturally and more slowly.

“We don’t want to keep the hosepipe ban in place for a day longer than we have to, and we’re keeping the situation under constant review. However, restrictions remain in place for now.

“We are also continuing to do what we can; tackling leaks and investing in schemes to improve the storage and movement of water around our network.

“We’re delighted that our customers have recognised the need to save water, and their efforts are making a real difference in our efforts to beat the drought. However, the possibility of a hot summer and a third dry winter is still a concern. This region is dry, even in an average year, so saving water is as crucial as ever.”

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