Anglian Water rules out hosepipe ban this summer following wettest winter on record

03 April 2024


Despite recent headlines, Anglian Water is reassuring its customers that a hosepipe ban won’t be necessary this summer for the East of England. The company’s long-term investments into securing water resources will keep taps running for customers across the region, even if the heatwave predictions for this summer prove to be true.

Anglian Water takes water to supply customers from a 50/50 split between reservoirs and groundwater sources, known as aquifers. After the wettest 18 months on record and with 10 named storms since last autumn, both groundwater and reservoir levels are in a tip-top position for the year ahead – with reservoirs across the region being over 90% full on average.

Even though recent months have been a far cry from the heatwave of 2022, it is the same resilient infrastructure which prevented a hosepipe ban in 2022, that allows Anglian to capture and store water when it’s plentiful, and save it for a not-so-rainy day.

Ian Rule, Director of Water at Anglian Water, said: “It’s clear from this winter that our climate is going to continue to change at an alarming rate meaning periods of drought and flood are going to become more common place. While we always welcome a wet winter to replenish our supplies – this winter has been extreme but it does mean we’re in good shape heading into this summer.

“We’ve known that the East likely to see the impacts of the climate emergency more keenly than anywhere else in the UK, and building resilience to climate change, as well as preparing for 720,000 new residents to move to our region, has been at the heart of our long-term planning since the 1990s. In fact it is one of the reasons – alongside driving down leakage to industry leading low levels - why we didn’t need to implement a hosepipe ban, unlike other parts of the UK, in the last long hot summer.”

To help build resilience and ensure there are plentiful supplies of safe, quality water now and in the future, Anglian Water is already investing heavily today to prepare for tomorrow. The water company’s existing plans set out how it will secure future water supplies over the next 25 years and beyond.  

The most immediate solutions include the expansion of a strategic pipeline network and preparations for two new reservoirs in the region. This forms part of the company’s next business plan, worth £9bn, currently with Ofwat for approval.

Anglian’s flagship strategic pipeline is well underway. It is the largest water infrastructure project of a generation. Once completed it will see hundreds of kilometers of large diameter water main laid, which will bring water from the wettest areas in the north Lincolnshire to the driest areas in the south and east of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. It will allow water to be moved around in a more agile way to wherever it is needed most. Once complete, the new network will be longer than the M1.

During the next five years, planning will also continue towards developing two new reservoirs - one in South Lincolnshire and another in the Fens. By the end of next decade, they will supply water to three quarters of a million homes.