Following the very dry winter in 2016/17, our groundwater resources remained below average all year and have now receded further due to the very dry start to autumn. This has increased the risk of drought and water restrictions in 2018.
The summer rainfall was welcomed, but aquifers only usually fill up from rainfall during autumn and winter, when there is less plant growth and evaporation. October to March is the critical recharge period when rainfall is expected to reach the aquifers (porous rock where groundwater is stored), which is used to supply 60% of Affinity Water customers.
Now is the time of year when those water sources need to start being replenished, but the region Affinity Water serves only received a quarter of the long term average rainfall in October and just half of the long term average in November, this is considerably short of what is usually expected. This is having a noticeable impact on river flows in the communities we serve.
Above average rainfall will be needed during this recharge period before groundwater returns to average levels.
To keep up to date with our latest water resource position, please visit www.affinitywater.co.uk/resources
Our Water Saving Programme – helping our customers to use less water
To date, we have successfully installed over 113,300 meters across our region as part of our Water Saving Programme, which started in 2015.
Once installed, our meters help us to identify leaks. So far, we have identified and repaired over 776 leaks which has saved 3.91 million litres of water per day.
We have visited over 56,000 customers in their homes to discuss their water use and to install free water saving devices. We estimate that these checks should have helped save each household on average 37 litres of water per day, which equates to a total saving of over 2 million litres of water a day!
The Consumer Council for Water has also confirmed in their annual resilience report that Affinity Water has achieved the largest reductions in leakage of any UK water company in 2016/17.
What we can all do to save water
We are continuing with our campaigns to raise awareness of the situation and help people save water. Our Keep Track of the Tap campaign reached millions of customers through direct mail and various advertising channels earlier this year, which led to an increase in awareness of our water resources position, water saving activity by customers and orders of our FREE water saving devices.
We are also working in collaboration with national environmental charity Hubbub to help people save water through an innovative behaviour change campaign – #TapChat.
Collaboration is key – we would love for you to join #TapChat and encourage others to do the same to help people reduce the amount of water they use.
Doing a little saves a lot – these water saving tips really make a difference!
In the bathroom
- Shorten your shower – take a 4-minute shower instead of a bath – you will save around 50 litres
- Don’t overfill the bath – if you do fancy a bath try and use less water in it – it is easy to save over 30 litres each time
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, and save over 6,500 litres of water a year and encourage others in your household to do the same
- Whenever you can, use the half flush button if you have a dual flush toilet
- A cistern displacement device can save one litre per flush, saving up to 5,000 litres a year.
In the kitchen
- Save water and electricity by only boiling enough water for your immediate use
- Use a bowl to wash dishes or vegetables
- Fix dripping taps and you could save over 5,500 litres of water a year. If you need to find an approved plumber visit www.watersafe.org.uk
- If you are buying a new appliance look at the Eco-label for water and energy consumption
- Only run your washing machine and dishwasher with a full load – this uses less water than two half loads.
We also offer FREE water saving devices on request through our website www.affinitywater.co.uk/savewater
We will keep you updated on the situation with regular communications. In the meantime, if you would like any further information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Asset Strategy