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You are here : Our Water Resources
We're certainly experiencing some autumnal weather, with rainfall way above average in October! Groundwater levels were up and down - they decreased for most of the month but started to increase in the last week. Our water resources are still in a good position, with 7 out of the last 12 months wetter than average, but it's still important for us all to save water throughout the year, even in the autumn and winter months.
Droughts affect all water companies differently. Most of the water we supply is from groundwater. Regions that supply more water from surface water sources, such as rivers, streams, and reservoirs, are usually affected first due to less rainfall and more evaporation.
Our drought plan is agreed with government and a hosepipe ban (TUB) is brought in when our groundwater levels reach a certain level, to help us conserve supplies.
Yes, you can still use your hosepipe. However, we’re asking everyone to use water wisely and conserve supplies, so the use of hosepipes should be avoided where possible. Simple steps to reduce your hosepipe use include using a watering can to water your plants, and using a bucket and sponge to wash your car.
At current levels we should not need to introduce restrictions this year, however we are dependent on rainfall over the next autumn and winter period to refill groundwater aquifers for next spring and summer. That’s why we’re asking everyone to use water wisely and conserve supplies. Join over 235,000 other people that have signed up to saveourstreams.co.uk to get access to FREE home water efficiency checks, free water saving devices and tailored advice to save water.
Water pressure in our network is affected by demand and will vary throughout the day. During spells of warm and dry weather, there’s always a huge increase in demand for water as we like to use more in the garden; watering plants and filling up large paddling pools. This high usage decreases our storage, as this is what we need to use for your drinking water to meet demand. When our storage is low and demand is high, this can lead to low water pressure or supply interruptions because water can’t get through the pipes quick enough. If you're experiencing low water pressure at the moment, please see our alerts page to see which areas are currently affected.
Groundwater sources are an important part of our supply – they make up most of the sources that we use to supply water in our area. The critical period for underground aquifers to recharge is between October and March each year, and during the last recharge period there was lower than average rainfall. Currently there is no impact to water supply, but rivers in our area may have lower flows and the upper reaches of some Chalk streams may be dry. To stay up to date with our latest resource position, please visit affinitywater.co.uk/resources
Water networks all over the world are prone to leakage as water is pumped through thousands of miles of pipes at high pressure causing weak points over time. Affinity Water operates over 16,800 km (over 10,000 miles) of pipe network that would stretch from London to Sydney. There is the potential for bursts and leaks to occur anywhere within this network. There are many things that effect the condition of our vast underground network. Periods of extreme dry weather cause shifts in ground movement which can cause pipes to bend and crack, releasing water.
We know we need to do our bit to conserve water and help the environment. We’re investing heavily to reduce leakage by 20% by 2025 and have already achieved a 10.5% reduction in the first 2 years. We’ve driven leakage down to its lowest ever level we’ve had as a company and will maintain our focus on this key area. However, we know we must do better and need to do much more, which is why we are using new innovative methods and technologies, such as artificial intelligence and digital networks, to find and fix leaks faster than ever before, with the aim to reduce leakage by 50% by 2050.
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Take a look at how we're doing our bit by fixing leaks, reducing abstraction and much more!
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