THIS area’s first hose-pipe ban for 20 years came into force today (Thursday).
And Anglian Water is asking people to do what they can to save water during the region’s worst drought for a century.
Peter Simpson, Managing Director of Anglian Water, said: “The fact is that it simply has not rained anywhere near enough.
“Two dry winters have prevented rivers, reservoirs and aquifers from refilling with the water we treat and supply during the rest of the year, especially during the hotter months when demand rises.
“We cannot know how much rain the rest of the year will bring and that’s why we believe a domestic hose-pipe ban now is the most sensible and responsible action to take to help safeguard customer supplies for this year, next year and beyond.”
Anglian Water is working hard to lessen the impact of the drought on customers’ supplies, investing millions in tackling leaks and on projects to improve the storage and movement of water around the region.
The firm has also launched its biggest ever water-saving campaign to get everyone to use 20 litres less water, every day.
The campaign, called ‘Drop 20’, challenges people to reduce their daily personal water use from 145 litres – the current regional average – to 125 litres.
The target is to reduce the amount of water the water company has to supply by up to 10 per cent, with the potential to save 120 million litres every single day.
Anglian Water will give customers tips on how to save water, as well as offering free kits to help people use less in the home and garden
Peter Simpson added: “We believe our customers understand the need for this restriction and will observe it, as well as doing what they can to save water in their daily lives.
“The water saved through the ban, through our own efforts and through the Drop 20 Campaign, will be water that’s available for us in the months to come.
“It will also take some of the pressure off the environment we get our water from – the region’s rivers and wetlands and the wildlife that relies on them.
“We know some of our customers will find this ban difficult and we are very grateful for their co-operation.
“The last thing we want to do is impose restrictions but the drought is too serious to ignore.
“We need the understanding, help and support of our customers to keep supplies secure.”
Under the terms of the ban, there will be a small number of exemptions to protect jobs and livelihoods and the infirm.
Customers can still water their gardens if they use a watering can not a hose, and can still clean their cars, provided they use a bucket.