Letter: 24 per cent rise in water bill

FOLLOWING your article on February 2, where you disclose that Southern Water is raising its bills by an average of 8.2 per cent in 2012, I have to say that is a gross underestimate for those of us who have recently been fitted with a water meter.

We had a water meter fitted in October last year. Southern Water has just written to me to tell me the new charges. Before we had the water meter we were using seven per cent (140 litres) less than the average water per person (150 litres) per day.

However, even so, now that we have a water meter our bill will be 16 per cent higher. Taking into account the extra 8.2 per cent rise this year, our bills in 2012 will rise by more than 24 per cent.

In order to keep our bills at the same level as 2011 we would have to reduce our usage from the average by a total of 31 per cent, nearly a third, to 104 litres per day.

Is that even remotely possible? We have almost all the water saving devices known to man but still we have not managed to decrease our usage by more than seven per cent.

The last time I looked, one of the major shareholders in Southern Water was an Australian pension fund.

The average daily water usage in Australia is a massive 493 litres per person, well over three times that of the UK and getting on for five times what we need to use to keep our bills from increasing.

So UK citizens are being squeezed to profit the shareholders of a country that seems to waste water to an incredible degree.

DAVID PILBEAM

Coney Croft, Horsham