Heatwave leads to warning of water shortage following record usage

8 August 2020, 18:35

A cricket pitch in Greenwich Park London, UK
A cricket pitch in Greenwich Park London, UK. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

People in the South East have been warned they could be without tap water unless usage is cut this weekend, as Britain faces a humid heatwave.

Friday saw the hottest August day since 2003 as the mercury reached 36C.

South East Water said people remaining in the UK on staycations is causing a strain on the county.

Head of central operations for South East Water Steve Andrews has urged people to "think carefully before turning on the garden tap" so everyone has what they need to drink.

He added: "Our water technicians have been working round the clock... but with this record amount of water being used daily it is getting harder to keep up.

"I am now appealing to every one - households and businesses - to keep water for essential use only while the heat is on this weekend and next week."

Mr Andrews also advises people to capture and use water twice, such as watering the plants from a paddling pool.

Other tips include not filling paddling pools in the early evening when demand for water is higher.

An extra 150million litres of drinking water is currently being produced during the warm period of weather

Mr Andrews added: "I would like to say thank-you to our many water-savvy customers who are already helping by being water-aware. But I am now appealing to everyone to keep water for essential use only while the heat is on this weekend and next week.

"We are asking everyone to think carefully before turning on the garden tap and see if they can capture and use the water twice, such as washing hands over a bowl and then using that water on the plants.

“We are also asking them not to wash their cars. They should also allow their lawns to turn golden as grass will soon recover when the rain returns next week."

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