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Dry weather challenges for water company

As low rainfall continues to take its toll on water levels in the South East of England, local water company, Veolia Water, is continuing to prepare for the prospect of a drought this summer.

The potential for a drought has increased due to a second consecutive dry autumn and winter - seasons crucial to the refill cycle of the company's water supplies.

Veolia Water's Water Resources Manager, Mike Pocock, said:

"The last eighteen months have been exceptionally dry with rainfall patterns consistent to those seen during times of drought.

"This autumn and winter has only had 60% of normal rainfall to replenish our water supplies. This is further compounded by only 65% over the same period during the previous year, so we really are seeing challenging times.

"Even with the wettest weather over the next few months we will not see conditions improve hugely for the spring, and that's why we want to ask our customers to help us prepare now for a dry summer next year, and avoid possible restrictions.

The water company continues to keep leakage under control with levels now at an all-time low.

"We're currently on track to meet the leakage target set by our regulator, Ofwat. However, we are still very keen for our customers to continue to report leaks. Even more so in the colder weather, a time when we tend to experience more bursts," added Mike.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

  • Veolia Water Central takes 60 per cent of its water supply from under-ground aquifers (a natural underground reservoir). The remaining 40% of water supplies come from surface water sources: the River Thames and the Grafham Water reservoir.
  • Under-ground water aquifers are replenished with rainfall between October and March.
  • Rainfall during spring and summer months tends to be absorbed by natural vegetation or it evaporates - very rarely does rainfall in this period replenish underground sources.
  • Rainfall during autumn 2010/winter 2011was 65% of long-term average
  • Rainfall during autumn 2011 was only 44% of long-term average
  • Rainfall during autumn 2011 and winter 2012 so far, is 60% of long-term average.

For further information please contact Becky Martin or Sue Pavey on: Tel. 01707 277110, email: news@veoliawater.co.uk, website:www.veoliawater.co.uk/news

About us

Veolia Water Central is the UK's largest water supply only company and is part of Veolia Water UK. We are committed to delivering a high quality water service to all our customers. We provide 870 million litres of water each day to a population of 3 million people, in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, and Enfield. Our supply area covers a total of 3,700 square kilometres, stretching from Luton and Royston in the north to Guildford in the south, and from Berkhamsted in the west to Dunmow in the east.

For more information visit www.veoliawater.co.uk/central or follow us on www.twitter.com/veoliawateruk.