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Water UK response to George Eustice drought comments

A Water UK spokesperson said:

“Every company has a drought plan in place, agreed with the Ministers and the Environment Agency. These set out specific triggers for activating different levels of response (including hosepipe bans).

“Government decided that it should be up to water companies to take the final judgment on when each plan's action triggers have been met. In making those judgments, companies use specific indicators and criteria set out in the plans agreed with government. Companies are in constant dialogue with Defra and regulators on their position, as well as their forward forecasts, plans and actions.

“As we have seen this summer, companies are perfectly prepared to use restrictions to protect the environment where that becomes necessary. But reducing demand is just one way that companies are helping the environment – for example, they have also been sending pulses of cold water from reservoirs to rehydrate and cool down rivers to protect fish (especially salmon stocks), and are choosing their sources of water in a way that tries to alleviate as much pressure as possible on hot-spot areas of low river flows.”