How a changing climate is affecting water use

Climate change is affecting UK weather patterns, and a growing population needs more water. With higher demand, and less predictable rainfall, we all need to be more water efficient. 

Demand for water is increasing, but rainfall is changing

In June 2020, a report called the Great British Rain Paradox was released.

The Great British Rain Paradox shows how, due to a combination of factors, climate change and population growth will lead to water shortages in England by 2040.

But if we all act now to use water more wisely, this can be avoided.

High demand in 2020

In the Spring and Summer of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic meant more people were at home than normal and we experienced the hottest May on record, demand for water was at an all-time high across the country.

In some places, water use was up to 40% more than we’d usually see at that time of year.

Water was being used quicker than it could be produced, and that meant some of you experienced water pressure and supply issues. 

In some areas, there just wasn’t enough water in the pipes by the time it got to those homes. Water was being used further up the network before it could get to its final destination.

While that level of use was impossible to forecast, it shows how demand is changing, can change and how much we all need to do to make sure there’s enough water for everyone.

*Average daily water usage per person, based on Severn Trent data

How we’re saving water

We take our responsibility to look after one of life’s essentials very seriously. We’re passionate about protecting water and making sure each of us can access this vital natural resource, sustainably, when we need it.

Leaks on our network are one of the water conservation biggest problems we face. Our teams use cutting-edge technology to find and fix leaks faster than ever before, and we’re going to keep investing in detection technology to make sure we keep improving.

We detect 60% of leaks before they become direct issues for the public, but we need you help to find and fix leaks too.

You can help save water and save money

We’re doing all we can to save water, but there are some simple steps you can take to help too.

Together, we can make sure there’s enough water for everyone.