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Hosepipe ban could be enforced once a decade under Southern Water plans
A water company has revealed its plan to almost halve the number of hosepipe bans affecting Sussex.
Southern Water’s “innovative” new approach would mean bans every 10 years rather than the current rate of every six years.
The proposal would also cut the risk of emergency measures, such as standpipes or rota cuts, where water is restricted to pipes in the street or a few hours a day, from one in 80 years to one in 200 years on average.
Southern Water said it would bring in hosepipe bans after at least two dry winters in a row, rather than using emergency prohibitions.
Meyrick Gough, water strategy and resources manager, said: “We have used an innovative approach in our plan to plan for a wider range of droughts than the ones we have seen in the past, which means we would reduce the likelihood of restrictions such as hosepipe bans to once every ten years.
“Our aim is also to only introduce hosepipe bans after we have experienced at least two dry winters in a row.
“At the moment we are seeing temporary use bans in Sussex and Kent once every six years.
“The resources in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are more resilient, with the last restrictions on the Island in place in 2006 and none in Hampshire since 1976.”
Southern Water has now asked customers to comment on the hosepipe ban, although the firm points out the reservoirs are currently full.
Last year, thousands of Southern Water customers faced a three-month ban use after severe drought.
But the restrictions introduced in early April were followed by record rainfall across the UK for that month and more rain in May and the beginning of June.
It now wants to hear customer views about leakage and water efficiency, desalination, water re-use and the cost of securing a more reliable water supply.
Read a consultation document and fill in an online questionnaire at swhaveyoursay.co.uk/wrmp until August 12.
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