“This is the first time Anglian Water has imposed a hosepipe ban in more than 20 years, but we believe this is the most sensible and responsible action to take to help safeguard customer supplies for this year, next year and beyond.
“Our region has had its driest 18 months for a century, including two dry winters which have robbed us of the rainfall we need to refill rivers, reservoirs and aquifers.
“In addition to the hosepipe ban, we are asking our 4.2 million customers to help us save water at home, at work and in the garden.
“We are doing our bit too; millions of pounds are being spent to pump water to the most vulnerable areas in our region and we are working with neighbouring water companies to help secure supplies across the wider South East and East.
“Along with lots of rain, what we need most of all is common sense.
“This is one of those times when everyone needs to pull together and help save water, as well as look out for relations, neighbours and friends who might struggle in some way – perhaps lifting a heavy watering can or bucket for example.
“We are not telling people to stop doing what they have to, but to adapt their behaviour to reflect the severity of the situation. The message is – do what you can.”
South East WaterPaul Butler, Managing Director
“The restrictions are a regrettable, but necessary, step to protect supplies for the coming months for essential use of water by our customers for drinking, washing and cooking and to minimise the impact on the water environment.
“If the situation does not significantly improve, then we may have to remove any initial concessions, and introduce wider restrictions, to protect both customers’ water supplies and the environment from which we take that water.
“We do not take the introduction of these restrictions lightly and are keen to work with those affected to help make the impact as minimal as possible - but we must all do our bit to save water.
“During the last drought, in 2005 and 2006, our customers responded incredibly well to the temporary hosepipe ban. We are very grateful for the efforts our customers have made already to save water, but would ask them to carry on their good work during these necessary temporary restrictions.”
South East Water
Southern WaterMatthew Wright, Chief Executive Officer
“Thanks to improvements made to our supply network, our lowest ever leakage level and the ongoing installation of 500,000 water meters, we are in a better position that we would have been in these circumstances in previous years.
“However, as we move into spring and the weather gets warmer, the demand for water will rise and it is essential that we safeguard supplies throughout the summer following an exceptionally dry 12 months.”
Sutton and East Surrey WaterAnthony Ferrar, Managing Director
“85% of our water is supplied from boreholes, the remainder comes from Bough Beech Reservoir. Recharging boreholes is entirely dependent on winter rainfall. Regrettably rainfall this winter has only been 67% of average. This is the second consecutive dry winter and has resulted in groundwater levels being significantly below average.
"These restrictions are a precautionary measure to safeguard future supplies. We are confident if our customers respond in the same way as they did in 2006 we shall get through the summer with no further restrictions.”
Sutton and East Surrey Water
Thames WaterMartin Baggs, Chief Executive
"We have been doing as much as we can ourselves to save water, reducing leakage by a third since its peak in 2004 to its lowest-ever level, and hitting our leakage-reduction targets five years running.
"The additional step being announced today, which we are not taking lightly, comes after two consecutive dry winters. Groundwater levels in the aquifers, which we rely on for both borehole and river supplies, are well below where we would normally expect them to be. In some cases they are at their lowest levels ever recorded at this time of year.
"We know these restrictions will be unpopular, but they will save a lot of water. A garden sprinkler uses as much water in an hour as a family of four uses in a day, and when water is in short supply, the needs of families must come first.
"We want to encourage everyone to continue to voluntarily save as much of this precious resource as possible, so there is enough to go around all our customers, however long it stays dry."
Water companiesHow the water companies are managing the environmental drought
Summary position and links to water companies
National responsibility for environmental management of the drought
Government department with overall responsibility for water resources in England
Responsibile for weather forecasting and rainfall monitoring
Working with farmers in times of drought
Water industry funded NGO focused on reducing consumption and promoting water efficiency
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