When the temperature rises, so does people’s water use. But if we all use too much at once, there won’t be enough to go round. While Southern Water works to keep taps and toilets flowing this summer, you can help by using only what you need. That way, we can make sure everyone has enough for life’s essentials.

When people think about droughts or water shortages, they often think about hotter parts of the world – like Australia, Africa and the United States. But you may be surprised to hear that the South East of England is officially water-stressed. In fact, the region has had three droughts since 2000 – and they’re likely to happen more often in the future.

So why’s the South East more likely to face water shortages? It’s a case of more people and less water. The number of people living in our region continues to grow, yet the changing climate means our water sources aren’t as reliable. As a result, there’s less clean water to go around.

In hot weather, we all count on water so we can stay hydrated, keep the plants healthy and help the kids cool down. But with 2.5 million people to supply, we all need to do our bit to make sure everyone has enough.

What we’re doing

Here at Southern Water, we’re working hard to keep your taps and toilets flowing.

We’re finding and fixing leaks. Our teams work around the clock to spot and sort leaks on our 13,866km of water mains – that’s almost the same as the distance from England to Australia! Millions of litres of water are saved each day by the leak alarms on the water meters we’re fitting. Our level of leakage per property is one of the best in the sector – yet we’re not stopping there…

As part of our Target 100 commitment, we’ve committed to help customers reduce their average water use to 100 litres per person, per day by 2040. Meanwhile, we’ll reduce leakage by 40% in the next 20 years. Want to help? Report a leak if you spot one while you’re out and about.

We also plan ahead. We have detailed plans that set out how we’ll carry on supplying water if a drought happens – including what customers can do to play their part. These plans are vital in making sure there’s always reliable water for homes, businesses and the environment. You can take a look at our Drought Plan on the Southern Water website.

Of course, the best way you can help us keep taps and toilets flowing is by using water wisely.

Bright ideas to help you save

Saving water has lots of perks. Little changes could save you money on your bills, reduce your carbon footprint and protect the rivers and habitats your water comes from. It all makes a difference. 

While you enjoy the sunshine, here are a few simple ways you can use less:

  • Take a break – Skip those non-essential, water-intensive chores like washing cars, patios and windows.
  • Ditch the tub for a shower – Swap the bath for a shower. Remember, keep it to four minutes and you could save money on your yearly bill too. In fact, one minute less in the shower saves around seven litres a day – over a year that’s around £10 off your bill.
  • Turn off the tap – By turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, you can stop up to 8,000 litres of water going to waste and could save approximately £15 a year.
  • Stay cool – Give the paddling pool a little top-up each day instead of refilling it every time – and remember to sprinkle the used water around your garden when you’re done.

Want to see bigger savings? Our freebies can save you from splashing out.

  • Water-saving home visits - Request one of our water-saving home visits and an engineer could visit your home to share water-saving tips and fit up to £100 worth of water-efficient devices, there and then.
  • Save-a-flush bags – If you have a pull-handle toilet, save each time you flush by popping a save-a-flush-bag in your cistern. They’re easy to fit and free for our customers.

Let’s make summer count

Together, we can make sure nobody’s summer is overshadowed by water shortages. If we all do our bit, we can make sure everyone has enough for life’s essentials.

For more ways to save, check out our tips on how to save water in hot weather