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Shorter showers and less loo flushing - the advice from water company as dry spell continues

Anglian Water is urging customers to use water wisely after the fourth 'dry' year in a row. Photo: ITV News Anglia

Anglian Water is asking people in the East of England to use water wisely after the fourth dry year in a row in the region.

Despite a slightly wet December in East Anglia, so far in January there has been only around one-quarter of the usual rainfall. After the exceptional drought in June and July 2018, water supplies are under pressure.

Despite the on-going dry weather Anglian Water says its water supplies are secure and the company's engineers are already working to maintain and strengthen their water resource levels across the East of England, in preparation for next summer.

The utility says it is investing an additional £6.5m to make sure its equipment is ready for whatever this summer brings.

  • Watch an interview with Regan Harris from Anglian Water talking about the water situation

The Anglia region saw only 90% of its usual annual rainfall during 2018 and it was the fourth consecutive year with average or below average rainfall totals.

Although reservoir levels across the region are more than three-quarters full, Anglian Water is concern about underground water stocks.

Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire was at only 66% capacity at the end of December which is classed as "notably low".

"When it's dull and grey outside it's easy to not notice that in fact it hasn't rained that much.

"But the reality is, during the long hot dry spell the region only had 54% of the average rainfall, and we have only had 89% of the long term average since then which is not sufficient to recover from the low levels.

"The rain in early December certainly helped to bolster our supplies with average reservoir levels currently at around 78%, our supplies are secure.

"But coming after what was an exceptionally long dry summer, we haven't seen the recovery in groundwater levels that we would normally expect for this time of year."

– Hannah Stanley-Jones, Head of Water Resources for Anglian Water
Anglian Water says toilets do not need to be flushed every time to save water. Credit: ITV News Anglia

East Anglia is the driest part of the United Kingdom and Anglian Water says customers in its region are the most "water savvy" in the country.

On average people in the Anglia region use 7 to 12 litres of water a day less than the national average which equates to four million toilet flushes per year.

Anglian Water is urging their customers to continue with their water saving measures even during the winter.

Some water saving tips for the cold weather are:

  • Fix dripping taps
  • Lag pipes to prevent them bursting
  • Take shorter showers, or shallower baths
  • Don't wash cars
  • Consider not flushing the toilet every time you use it
The drought in June and July turned the countryside into a parched landscape. Credit: ITV News Anglia