Thriving environment

Our business is intrinsically linked to the environment as we rely on it for our raw product, water. For this reason we do all we can to ensure there is a clean, resilient and sustainable supply available for current and future water customers whilst ensuring there is enough water available to support the needs of the environment too. Click 'Discover More' to find out more from our Head of Environment, Emma Goddard.

Low carbon sustainable business

We’re committed to playing our part to tackle the causes of climate change and transitioning to low-carbon operations, achieving net zero by 2030. Click ‘Discover more’ to find out more from our Carbon Strategy and Economic Manager, Matt Hersey.

Securing the future of water

Resilient water resources are needed to ensure we have enough water to supply our customers into the future, while ensuring enough remains in the environment so habitats can thrive. Click ‘Discover more’ to find out more from our Head of Water Resources, Nick Price.

Future ready business

Our people are dedicated to providing you with the best service possible, whether they’re out in the field searching for leaks, managing our operational sites, testing the quality of your water or answering your queries. Each and every person within the business is dedicated to delivering you the safe reliable tap water supply you expect. Click 'Discover more' to find out more from our Head of HR, Sian Jenkins.

Following the hottest June on record, we were left with no choice but to introduce a Temporary Use Ban (TUB) to bring down demand for water and maintain supplies.

The average daily demand for water is usually 542 million litres a day. June 2023 was hotter than in the heatwave of 1976 which, up until 2023, was the hottest June since 1884. Between 1 and 17 June, daily demand was 16 per cent higher than in the same period the previous year.

Whilst reservoir and aquifer stocks of raw water (untreated) were in a good position for the time of year, the severe lack of rainfall since April 2023 had increased demand for treated drinking water.

With water butts empty, lawns dry and farms having exhausted their own stored water supplies, demand for treated mains water, which takes time to process and deliver was greater than we could meet.

This rapid increase in demand happened far faster than our long-term planning predicted and, even with every water treatment works and water source operating at maximum capacity, 24/7, we saw storage levels in our drinking water storage tanks across Kent and Sussex reduce rapidly.

Daily demand peaked on 10 June at 678 million litres per day (25.56 per cent higher than the daily average demand). This is the equivalent of adding four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne to our network overnight.

Taking into account the wider context of the extreme heat experienced across large parts of Europe at that time, we regularly reviewed the situation with caution to ensure we protected water supplies for all our customers and the environment.

watering plants with a watering can

On 16 June, due to record levels of demand for drinking water over consecutive days, we announced that we would be introducing a Temporary Use Ban – more commonly known as a ‘hosepipe ban’ – to reduce non-essential water usage and protect the water supply for our customers in Kent and Sussex. This was the first time we had been required to implement a Temporary Use Ban that was demand-led i.e., not as a result of drought.

The unprecedented set of extreme circumstances which necessitated the implementation of a Temporary Use Ban were further compounded by changes in the consumption habits across South East. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an approximate 20 per cent rise in the number of people working from home in commuter towns over a very short period. These people would have historically commuted out of our supply area during the day using water from another supplier. This rise has increased water consumption and tested our existing infrastructure.

Despite our best efforts, the severe conditions in the run up to 16 June meant that some of our customers in Kent and Sussex were affected by low pressure or no water, and we remain sincerely sorry to those affected. We deeply regret falling short of our high standards and have worked hard since to mitigate against future interruptions such as the ones we experienced in June 2023.