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After months of flooding – plea to prepare for drought

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 19, 2014

By Tristan Cork

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With the West still soaked after the wettest winter on record, one water firm has raised eyebrows by calling on its customers to save water.

Severn Trent Water admitted it "might seem crazy" to be issuing advice to customers on the benefits of saving water – after large swathes of the area it covers in Gloucestershire were left below several feet of the stuff for the past couple of months.

Just a few weeks after the River Severn burst its banks for miles from Tewkesbury down to Gloucester, the area's water provider has reminded customers that they really should think about getting a water butt for the garden – just in case this summer is a hot one, and they have to impose measures such as a hosepipe ban.

"It may seem crazy to be talking about saving water, especially after what felt like never ending rain, all winter and with all the flooding, but the more steps we can all take now – getting into good habits – then the better placed our water supplies will be if we do have a hot dry summer." said Doug Clarke, the man in charge of water efficiency at Severn Trent.

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"It may have been the wettest winter on record, but now we're heading for what weather forecasters are predicting to be the hottest summer on record," he added.

Severn Trent Water is reporting that reservoirs and other water sources are "pretty much full and looking good" for the summer ahead.

But the firm are also asking that its customers not be complacent and think about being "water wise" in whatever we do – "as we never know what's next with the weather".

Mr Clarke said people needed to think about the next time the West dries up.

"This weekend the weather was beautiful and many of us took the opportunity to get into the garden and start tidying up after the winter," he said.

"Now is the time to think about getting a water butt to save rain water, ready to use in the summer. It may have been the wettest winter on record and our reservoirs may be full, but if we're going to have a hot dry summer, we need to think long-term about our water usage.

"We're confident that our water resources are in the best possible position at the moment, and we don't currently envisage any restrictions at all this summer.

"However, if it's going to be super-hot, then we need to get into good habits now. Weather patterns are obviously changing from what we're used to, so we never know what's around the corner.

"When we do get a shower or two, now is the perfect time to collect rainwater in a water butt. That way you can keep the garden watered all summer without using water from the tap," he added.

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