Hose pipe ban lifted – what about leaks?

Thu, Jun 14, 2012

Climate Change, Water, UK Climate Change

From today more than 15 million people in the south and east of England are able to fill paddling pools and water lawns now the hosepipe bans are lifted Three of the UK’s biggest water companies – Anglian Water, Southern Water and Thames Water have ended their restrictions.

However, four companies – South East Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Veolia Water Central and Veolia Water Southeast – are keeping their hosepipe bans in place, as they are much more dependent on groundwater for their supplies, rather than reservoirs. Two very dry winters have left many underground aquifers severely depleted, with some areas needing a very wet winter – 40% above the long-term average – to recover fully.


Great news for gardeners and horticultural companies who were set to be severly hampered by the strict rules that were introduced on water usage.

What about the ongoing  issue of how much more the Water Companies should do to repair the thousands of leaks from their pipes?

Is it time for the government to explore tougher legislation to enforce all Water Companies to use more of their profits to save our water?

Almost half of the firms in England and Wales will not be required to reduce their leakages before 2015 despite figures showing they:

loose more than 3.3 billion litres of water every day.

Here what the Guardian says about this leaky issue:

“Labour’s Mary Creagh, the shadow secretary of state for the environment, said: “Customers who have seen their bills rise on average by 6% will be pleased that water companies are lifting the hosepipe ban. But this drought has shone a light on how this out-of-touch government is delaying on action to protect our water supply. They should set water companies tougher targets to fix leaks, insist they provide help to keep bills affordable and stop the over-abstraction of our rivers and ground water.”

The Guardian revealed in May that more than half of water companies in England and Wales are not required to reduce their leakages by a single drop before 2015. Data obtained from the regulator Ofwat showed the entire water industry will cut leaks by only 1.5% in that time.

Water companies, including Thames Water on Wednesday, insist that using water more efficiently is the key to dealing with rising demand. But Tony Smith, the chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Ofwat’s approach to setting leakage targets needs to recognise customers’ perception that water companies are not doing enough about their leaky pipes. It’s not just about economics. The negative perception of leakage is the biggest barrier to customers doing more to save water.”


Water is our most precious resources and we need to make sure we protect it – both now and in the future.

Are hose pipe bans  an acceptable way to deal with our unpredictable weather as climate change takes hold?http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/13/water-relief-hosepipe-ban-ends

Love to know yr thoughts on what can be done about this ongoing problem.


Debbie Scott Anderson




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- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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