Reservoir levels are looking promising and we want customers to enjoy our wonderful water, not waste it

Following one of the driest summers on record, we can today reveal that our reservoirs across the region are looking much more healthy, but we are continuing to ask customers to use this precious resource wisely.

We all remember last summer, which was wonderfully long, hot and dry, but with all of the glorious weather came very little rain.  This meant that reservoir storage dropped to levels not seen for a long time.  For example, in Derwent Valley, Derbyshire, there was huge excitement when the remains of the village from when the reservoir was created could be seen for the first time in years.  We in the meantime were pumping an extra 300 million litres of water into supply every day as people used much more water than usual in the hot weather.

Today we're delighted to say that after carefully managing levels through the winter, our reservoirs are bouncing back and in some places, are actually full.  This comes after work was carried out across the region to maximise water storage, including schemes to get more water into reservoirs when it rains.  And with a decent amount of rainfall on top, we're in a much healthier position going into the summer than we expected. 

Marcus O’Kane, water resources manager, explains: “As our reservoirs across the region are looking healthy again, we’re feeling more confident that we’re going into the summer in a good position.  But, as we’ve heard from Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, yesterday, as we go forwards, increases in population and climate change are going to bring much more demand for the finite water resources we have.  So we all need to do everything we can, starting now, to reduce our demand for this precious resource.

“For our part, we have ambitious plans to reduce leakage by 15% in the next five years, and by 50% in the next 25 years, as well as using various technologies such as satellites and drones to find and fix leaks much quicker.  We’re investing in and making better use of our more sustainable water resources and we’re improving the resilience and flexibility of our pipe network, which will allow us to move water around from those areas that have more, to those that have less.

“And we’re asking our customers to do their part too – to make a change, we all need to be in this together.  In the UK, the average amount of water used per person per day is 140 litres, yet in parts of Denmark they use only 80 litres, so it is absolutely possible.  It’s simple and easy to save water around the home; we have tons of great tips on our website here.  We want people to have drinking water available for just that, so we’re encouraging our customers not to use that wonderful water on the garden in the summer.  You could get a water butt, (they’re on special offer on our website here), so you can collect the rain when we have it and save it to use on the garden later.  You could also shave a minute off your shower time, make sure you turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, and only use the dishwasher and washing machine when they’re full. 

"Just little things will make a huge difference if we all get into good habits now, ahead of the summer.”