Water company boss blames people working from home for hosepipe ban

A water firm boss has blamed folks working from dwelling for a brand new hosepipe ban.

South East Water will impose the primary hosepipe ban of the summer time from Monday, affecting greater than two million properties and companies throughout Kent and Sussex.

Its chief govt, David Hinton, stated in a letter to clients that post-pandemic working from dwelling was a “key issue” behind the ban, because it has “elevated consuming water demand”.

He wrote: “Over the previous three years the way in which during which consuming water is getting used throughout the southeast has modified significantly.

“The rise of working from dwelling has elevated consuming water demand in commuter cities by round 20% over a really quick interval, testing our current infrastructure.”

Mr Hinton additionally blamed low rainfall since April for leaving water butts empty, in addition to pointing to a current spell of scorching climate which he claims led to a spike in demand for consuming water.

“Our reservoir and aquifer shares of uncooked water, important to our water provide however not prepared for use, are in a very good place. Nonetheless, demand for handled mains water, which takes time to course of and ship, was higher than we may meet,” he stated.

“Over the previous week now we have wanted to seek out water to produce the equal of an extra 4 cities the scale of Maidstone or Eastbourne day-after-day.”

Greg Clark, the Conservative MP for Tunbridge Wells, advised The Occasions: “Their solely job is to ship consuming water.

“However in my constituency, they’ve run out of water twice in six months – as soon as simply earlier than Christmas once we had a chilly snap, and now after a small and unexceptional heatwave.

“What they’re describing when it comes to folks working for house is in no way particular to this space.

“There was for a while a bent for folks to work extra from dwelling. A water firm ought to be capable to predict and accommodate for this.”

A spokeswoman for the water regulator Ofwat stated: “South East Water should do higher to foretell and handle operational points, assist clients, and interact with them on what is going on and why.

“Clients shall be asking why, for the second time in six months, their water firm is being caught out by the climate.”

South East Water’s Head of Service Administration, Steve Andrews, defended the ban, saying it was “launched to make sure that we will ship consuming water to all our clients persistently”.

He added: “We need to thank our clients for being aware of their water use and remind them to proceed to make use of water properly over the approaching weekend.”

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