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  • by Karma Loveday

Companies ramp up Covid-sensitive water efficiency messaging as demand rises

Water companies have started Covid-sensitive water efficiency messaging as the hot dry weather continues in many areas and consumption remains significantly above normal levels with people remaining at home.

For instance, Affinity Water last week reported its key workers were pumping an additional 108 million litres of water a day into the network to keep the taps flowing, equivalent to the demand of an extra 400,000 people. The company reiterated that a hosepipe ban is not needed this year due to the heavy autumn and winter rainfall, but nonetheless is providing its customers with advice and free water saving devices to help bring demand down.

Kevin Barton, head of external communications said: “We would urge customers to continue following government guidelines on hygiene and hand washing to help stop the spread of coronavirus. But as they spend more time in their homes and garden, we are asking them to be mindful about their water use and to save water where they can.”

Northumbrian Water had a similar message. Martin Lunn, head of water service planning said: "Our water supplies remain healthy at this time and we are keeping a close eye on this as we experience more warm weather and people remain at home. We have seen an increase in demand over recent weeks, but we're used to managing demand and dry weather so we have tried and tested plans in place. However, we would ask our customers to work with us and use water wisely, so that we can continue to manage supplies and keep the water flowing.”

Also last week, Waterwise reported its annual Water Saving Week, which took place in May, topped its 2019 reach. This year, 3.5 million people were reached through Twitter and Facebook, with each user seeing the messages five times on average. Waterwise also launched its new accreditation scheme, the Waterwise Community Checkmark, during Water Saving Week. The Community Checkmark is designed to celebrate the best of community level water efficiency programmes.

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