Demand for water rises during heatwave

JPCT 170713 S13290462x Horsham. The Forum. Water feature.Tristan,4, splashing in fountain -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 170713 S13290462x Horsham. The Forum. Water feature.Tristan,4, splashing in fountain -photo by Steve Cobb

Demand for water in the area has risen by around eight per cent due to the soaring temperatures - according to Southern Water.

The Worthing-based utility company, which serves most of the Horsham district, is thanking customers for using water wisely, as the increase is half of that seen in other parts of the country.

Southern Water says its water-savvy customers are the reason for this less-than-expected increase in demand – heeding advice about how to save water, energy and money, particularly in the garden – and its water resources remain above average following last year’s wet weather.

Ben Earl, Southern Water’s water efficiency manager, said: “We are grateful that our customers are using water wisely. They are taking advantage of lots of water-saving tips on our website for gardens and elsewhere in the home. This helps them not only save water but also money off both their water and energy bills.

“We also remind customers the importance of keeping hydrated in the hot weather and encourage people to keep a jug of water in the fridge for a cooling drink.”

In hot, dry weather, and it has been a dry July so far with just 2.8mm of rain falling compared with the long-term average of 47.7mm, garden watering accounts for up to 70 per cent of all household water use.

Southern Water says gardeners in the region are using waterwise tips, including:

- Not watering lawns in dry weather – they quickly recover when it rains

- Watering plants in the morning and evening to minimise evaporation

- Putting mulch round the base of plants to lock in moisture in the soil

- Recycling water from paddling pools

- Installing water butts ready for the next rain showers

Gardeners can also access a guide to water-efficient plants for different soil types and different places in the garden.

Meanwhile, others will be able to draw on an extra source of water for their plants in the summer – paddling pools. These are a great way to cool down in hot weather but once the fun’s over, the water they contain can also be used on garden plants.

Peter Holman, chairman of the Southern Water-sponsored South and South East in Bloom, said it was keen to promote water efficiency as part of the event.

He said: “Using lots of water is not necessarily the best way to care for a garden during hot weather. Southern Water’s website has lots of simple tips on using water wisely in the garden and is a great way of finding out which plants are best-suited to dry weather as well as certain types of soil.”

For more information visit Southern Water’s website.