River levels

In some areas, we rely on rivers for the water we supply to our customers. However, the twin pressures of more extreme weather events and a growing population are stretching these finite natural resources.

River flow data

The graph below shows recent River Test flow data during 2022.
(source: The Environment Agency)


The flow triggers are used to give us warning of when we may be at risk of breaching our licence condition for our abstraction on the River Test (the ‘hands-off flow’ condition), which is when we must stop abstracting.

In order to protect supplies to our customers and in accordance with our Drought Plan, we must apply for a drought permit to allow us to continue abstracting if flows fall below the hands off flow condition.

This year, flows have already dropped below ’60-day’ trigger and the ’35-day’ trigger, and therefore we have submitted a formal drought permit application to the Environment Agency on 19th July.

More information about the drought permit application is here: Hampshire drought (southernwater.co.uk), where there is a link to the application documents and information about how objections to the application may be made before 27th July.


Daily river flows

The EA monitors UK rivers and publishes daily river flow data on its website. To see the latest updates about a river near you, visit the EA's Hydrometic Data page and click on the rivers represented by a red dot:  

Visit the EA's website


Protecting Hampshire's rivers

During 2019, new rules were introduced to protect the Rivers Test and Itchen by controlling when we could take water for our customers. As a result, Hampshire faces an increased risk of drought during dry weather.

Find out how we're keeping customers' taps flowing while protecting Hampshire's rivers.

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