The meters are being installed because they are a fairer way of ensuring customers only pay for what they use, but they also help us manage these finite water resources and help the environment.
Your water comes from the natural environment. Around 25% comes from rivers and reservoirs, whilst 75% comes from deep, natural chambers underground — called aquifers — that store winter rainwater.
Alongside the metering programme, we are also increasing our efforts to help and support customers with their water efficiency.
By having a water meter, customers are in more control of their water use and bills, and even more so if they follow some helpful tips on using water wisely and reducing wastage.
Water meters also help us to detect leaks — the meter technology we are using will help South East Water to detect and find potential leaks and get these resolved more quickly.
South East Water works hard to identify and repair leaks on our water mains, and we work around the clock to stop water being wasted through leaking pipes on nearly 14,500km of water mains and 880,000 customer connections.
As part of our long term water resources plan, we look at a range of options to see if they can meet the growing demand for water without substantially increasing costs to our customers or impacting on the environment. Whether the option is metering, leak detection, water efficiency promotion or building new interconnecting pipelines or strategic new reservoirs, they can all help secure future water supplies for both existing and future customers, and at a cost which is still acceptable in both financial and environmental terms.
The South East of England has been classed by the Environment Agency as an area of serious water stress. This means that there is real concern over the amount of water available for the increasing population. According to the Met Office, the South East of England actually gets 31% less rainfall on average than the rest of the UK.
What is Defra’s position on water metering?
Defra, the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which regulates the water industry, supports the introduction of water metering as a way of reducing demand in this water stressed area.