Severn Trent to donate £1m to charity if customers cut daily demand by 150 million litres to the end of June

29th May 2020

With the hot weather here to stay, and daily demand for water rocketing in recent weeks to over two billion litres, Severn Trent has challenged its customers to slash their daily demand to earn money for local charities and to help protect supplies during the coronavirus crisis.

That means the company has committed to give £1m¹ to charities on the frontline of the COVID response across the Midlands for every 150 million litres of water demand reduces, on an average daily basis, over the period to the end of June².
That means a 300 million litre reduction would earn £2m, while also ensuring there’s enough water for the great hygiene we all need right now.
To give everyone an idea of how much water 150 million litres is, it’s roughly enough for 1.9 million baths or flushing a normal toilet almost 11 million times.
Liv Garfield, Chief Executive of Severn Trent, said: “We know it’s hot, and people need to use more water than normal, but over the last few weeks, we’ve seen demand spike, increasing hundreds of millions of litres every day above normal.
“We’re flat out treating loads of extra water for everyone, and we’re happy to do that, but we wanted to encourage everyone to reduce their water consumption just a little bit and we’ll then donate the money we would’ve spent producing more water to the local charities which are doing such a wonderful job during the coronavirus crisis.
“We’ve already got regional branches of Age UK and Mind signed up, and we really want to make that donation! So we’re calling on the people in all of the counties we cover – from Gloucestershire to the outskirts of Sheffield, from Rutland to the Welsh borders – to help us help them and to let us donate that money to local charities.
“We think it’s a fab idea and we hope our customers feel the same way and pick up the challenge. Everyone’s got the chance here to do their bit to both make sure there’s enough water to go round, and to help us donate to your local charities.”
Some of the increase in usage is down to more handwashing due to coronavirus, which is completely understandable, but we can see that huge increase in recent weeks is because people are using things like sprinklers and pressure washers far more than before, especially as industry is nowhere near back to normal.
Some of the top ways you can help save water, and make money for a local charity, include:

  • Putting the garden hose or sprinkler away; a brown lawn quickly bounces back to green when it rains again;
  • Have fun in your garden but keep an eye on how much you’re using the paddling pool – an average pool uses as much as three people would use in a whole day;
  • If you’ve got a traditional toilet without the two button flush, order a free Buffaloo from Severn Trent that’ll reduce how much water you use each flush;
  • Filthy cars are the new fashion – as long as you’re keeping your windows, mirrors and lights clean maybe your car would like to get a little dirty for a change; and
  • Who really wants to be pressure washing the patio right now – sit down with a cold drink and enjoy the weather instead!

Demand for treated water has been consistently higher than the average in May, reaching more than two billion litres a day – which is roughly 250 litres for every man, woman and child served by Severn Trent compared to 134 litres in more normal times. For example, demand on May 27 was 2,250,000,000 litres, which is more than 1.5 million litres every minute and just 50 million litres short of our all-time record.
There are all sorts of handy water saving tips available here, and free water saving devices here.

Notes to editors
¹ = The potential donation is over and above the £10m Community Fund donations that will continue as normal over the course of the next five years.
² = Reduction based on average daily reduction from today until the end of June based on current demand of 2.2bn litres.