We abstract just 3% of effective rainfall in Wales for public consumption, lower than other parts of the UK and supply high quality drinking water to over 3 million customers across Wales, which means cleaning and delivering more than 830 million litres of water every day.
Climate change will result in more extreme rainfall events but also warmer drier summers. Water demand is also changing due to increasing population, changes in land-use, customer behaviour and the structure of the economy like increases in tourism.
There is an ever-growing water supply demand gap. To help tackle this, we will use our water resource management plan to ensure a sustainable and affordable balance between water supply and demand. We propose to implement water transfers, demand management measures and leakage reduction programmes to address any deficits.
We know that tackling climate change is important to our customers. We will continue to ask them to play their part, to only use the water they need and be careful not to waste it. This will not only ensure that we have enough water to meet our customer’s needs, but will also reduce the energy that we consume to treat and pump the water. It’s why we aim to maximise the opportunities to reuse treated water and other potentially valuable natural materials, contributing to the circular economy in our local region.
As part of looking at water demand, we have developed demand forecasts for our zones, estimating usage levels in a hot dry year, and for the critical period of peak use. This gives us insight as to whether we can consistently supply water to all our customers in the most arduous conditions, considering the risks and uncertainty associated with long term forecasting.
We’ll be looking at the following to help the supply-demand deficits:
- Demand management– saving water through supporting customers to reduce their usage;
- Water reuse – encouraging the use of grey water reuse and rainwater harvesting;
- Water metering – to incentivise reduced water usage;
- Leakage – reducing the losses in our system through increased investment in leakage monitoring and repair, including beyond the domestic boundary;
- Water transfer and trading - across zonal customer promises Well-being goals or company boundaries, recognising the associated environmental risks, for example, the spread of non-native species;
- Catchment management and natural water retention - in uplands, wetlands and floodplains; and
- Water resource optimisation – utilising a new source of water or increasing the water we take from an existing source.
In selected locations across the areas we serve, we offer a free support service to help customers identify and fix leaks. We even provide assistance with fixing leaks free of charge. Find out more about Project Cartref here.Find out more