Thames puts off Drought Order

Thames Water went against expectations today, Friday, when it announced it would not be applying for a Drought Order for the time being.

The company which supplies water to London and the surrounding area had been tipped to become the second to ask for special measures to control water use, following the example of Sutton and East Surrey Water, which applied for the first Drought Order in the decade earlier this week (see related story).

The company has said it will be reviewing the situation weekly but at the moment local river flows are being maintained, reservoirs are slowly filling up and demand is falling as customers take more care with their water use.

Jeremy Pelczer, chief executive of Thames Water, said: “Our current projections indicate that the situation remains serious, but does not yet justify an application for a Drought Order.

“In making a decision, we need to consider long-term questions, such as how long the drought might last and the possibility of a third consecutive dry winter.

“We also need to take into account more immediate issues like rainfall levels, the ability to recharge reservoirs and ongoing efforts to reduce demand.

“We are very mindful of the impact a Drought Order would have on many individuals and businesses, whilst at the same time we understand the very legitimate concerns of the Environment Agency.

“We have discussed our decision with the Agency, to keep them closely informed.

“The situation remains finely balanced, and we will continue to review it weekly. There remains a distinct possibility that we will need to apply for a Drought Order in the coming weeks.

“The 18-month drought means we are still in a serious position, and we are continuing to invest record resources to tackle leakage, where much remains to be done, as well as encouraging our customers to use water wisely.

“We would like to thank the many people across our region who are already saving water.

“This, together with the hosepipe and sprinkler ban, is helping to conserve supplies.”

Sam Bond

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