Summer water saving appeal

Veolia Water Southeast Head of Operations Gavin McHale says that heavy rain in April and May has helped improve the local water position but a hosepipe ban will need to remain in place to conserve scarce resources.

He said: "In the South East we have had two dry winters in a row which have reduced the levels in our water sources to well below the long term average and we also have to take account of the possibility of another dry winter.

"So we are asking our customers to look again at how they use water in the home and garden and make those small regular savings that can make all the difference.

"Unfortunately any rain over the summer will not help us because now most of the water will be taken up by trees and plants or evaporate."

Statistics show that we have had one of the driest two year periods recorded, with large areas of the south east continuing to be officially declared in drought.

Since 2006 Folkestone and Dover has been officially designated as a "Water Scarce Area" by Defra needing special action including the introduction of compulsory metering.

Gavin McHale said important environmental concerns had also to be taken into account in planning how to cope with the drought.

He said: "We must remember that our local water comes from underground sources in the chalk Downs and from gravel aquifers on Romney Marsh which support environmentally sensitive areas of national importance. By saving water now we can reduce environmental impacts by avoiding the over abstraction of water."

Top water saving tips from Veolia Water include:

In the home:

·Have a shower instead of a bath. 35 litres for a 10 minute shower against80 litres for a bath

·Promptly fix leaks and repair dripping taps

·Use a water-saving cistern option.Save 2 litres with every flush.

·Put full loads only in washing machines and dishwashers

·Make sure you buy appliances that use less water

·Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Save 6 litres a time.

Outside:

·Use a butt to collect rainwater for use in the garden

·Choose drought tolerant plants

·Let your lawn grow, it will stay greener longer

For more details on Veolia Water Southeast see www.veoliawater.co.uk or phone 0845 888 5 888.

For further press information, please contact Philip Bosley, PHB Public Relations, on 01580 852500

Note to editors:

Veolia Water Southeast supplies 42 million litres of water each day in South and East Kent to a population of more than 159,000 people.