We all love it when the temperature soars, but we wouldn’t love it quite so much if there wasn’t enough water to go round. Discover why saving water matters all year round – and get your hands on some freebies to get you started.

More people, less water to go round

The South East is officially water-stressed. Lots of new housing developments are popping up which means our population is growing. Couple this with climate change and hotter, drier summers, and we face a future of more people and less water. Yet demand for water jumps in the summer, while people care for their gardens, keep themselves hydrated and help the kids stay cool. In fact, during the last heatwave, demand in our region spiked by around 100 million litres a day – that’s the same as 40 Olympic swimming pools.

Many people stay in the UK for their summer holidays and our famous seaside is bringing increased footfall to the South East. All of this is putting pressure on our stretched water supply. But if we all do our bit to save water, we can make sure there’s enough to go round. 

Is there an off-season?

Though few of us welcome wet weather, we actually rely on gentle drizzle throughout winter to keep our water sources topped up for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, climate change is bringing more extreme weather, including flash floods and storms. Heavy rain quickly washes over the land, into rivers and out to sea. Combined with the hotter summers, this means our water sources are being topped up less often.

As a result, saving water is important all year round. Even on rainy days, using water wisely will help our water sources to recover for the drier months and make sure there’s enough for everyone.

What we’re doing

We know asking customers to save water would be unfair unless we were doing all we could to stop water going to waste. That’s why our leak detection team works around the clock to find and fix leaks on our 8,640 miles 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 fitted on most of our water meters and we’re making major investments in leak-fighting technology. This is all part of our mission to halve leakage by 2050. You can help us get there – please report a leak online or by calling 0800 820 999 if you spot one.

We’re also working with property developers to reduce the impact of new homes in our region. As a licenced water company, we have a duty to provide water and wastewater services, so we can’t refuse new connections or object to new developments. However, we’re working closely with developers to encourage and incentivise the building of water-efficient homes, so we can combat the impact of population growth in the water-stressed South East.

Our tips and freebies to help you save

There are so many ways to save water and it has loads of perks too – you could save money on your bills, reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment. It all makes a difference.

Small, everyday changes soon add up – here are some to get you started:

  • Shower ballad – Pick a four-minute shower anthem and challenge yourself to finish freshening up before the song ends.
  • Pick a side – Only ever push one button on a dual-flush loo (hint: the small one’s for pee, the big one’s for number twos).
  • From boil to soil – Share any cooled water left in your kettle with your plants.

Want to see bigger savings? Our freebies can help you save without splashing out:

  • 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.
  • Water-saving home visits – Apply for a free water-saving home visit and one of our engineers could pop over to share water-saving tips and fit up to £100 worth of water-efficient devices, there and then.
  • GetWaterFit – Use our interactive GetWaterFit app to calculate how much you use – and complete water-saving challenges to earn donations for local schools and charities.

Learn more and discover other ways to save at southernwater.co.uk/save-water.