River flows are lower than normal for this time of year, and we’ve had to apply to the Environment Agency for a drought permit to allow us to continue taking water from the river to supply to our customers. As part of the application, we have had to show that there has been an ‘exceptional shortage of rain (ESOR).
The Environment Agency will decide whether to grant us the permit and the conditions that may apply to it. A first step is to see if any objections are received by third parties, such as customers, before they make their decision. The public consultation period for the drought permit application ended on 27 July.
The Environment Agency will decide whether a public hearing will be held in relation to the application. If it does happen, it will be on Wednesday 3rd August, to be held as a virtual hearing. If you would like to attend the Hearing please register your interest to [email protected] with River Test Drought Permit Hearing in the subject line.
Summaries of the application documents can be found in the tables below.
On 25 July we prepared an addendum to document 1.3 the Exceptional Shortage of Rain (ESOR) case. This is included with the document set below.
If the permit is granted, we’ll be able to continue to take water from the river to a lower level than we’re currently able to, while still protecting the environment and health of the river.
As river levels are low, we must do everything in our power to minimise the impact on these precious and unique habitats so we're asking our customers to reduce their water use.
Introducing a Temporary Use Ban in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
On 5 August 2022, a ’Temporary Use Ban’ (TUB) was introduced to all customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, who receive their fresh water supply from us.
Sometimes known as ‘hosepipe bans’, a TUB means we all have a responsibility to save water and customers in the affected areas must not use water for anything covered under the TUB. This includes the following activities:
- Watering a garden using a hosepipe
- Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe
- Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe
- Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
- Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
- Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use
- Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe
- Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain
- Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe;
- Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe
- Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe.
We all have a role to play in protecting the environment and health of our precious rivers, and we hope our customers will work together with us to reduce our use.
TUB restrictions will remain in place until we have had enough rain and the river flows are back to a normal level.
For more information, and to find out more about any exemptions that may apply, check out our drought restrictions. You’ll be able to search with your postcode to confirm the level of drought you're currently in and get further information on what restrictions are in place in your area.
All postcodes affected
A list of exemptions that may apply to some of our customers is also available in the table below:
This of course is a situation that can change over the coming days and weeks, and we will be continuing to work closely with the Environment Agency.
We can all play our part in helping to save water. For more information on simple ways to save, and to find out more about the work we’re doing to find and fix leaks across our network, visit our How to save water page.
Feel free to browse the other info on these pages too. You'll find explanations of what droughts are and why we need plans to tackle them, along with details of what would happen at the different stages of one. You can also explore our library of technical documents, which go into greater detail about specific aspects of our plans.