Urban Areas: Water Supply

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th July 2022.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the adequacy of the supply and provision of drinking water for people in town and city centres during periods of extreme heat.

Photo of Steve Double Steve Double The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Water companies in England are reporting that water storage levels are adequate for water supply this summer, including for the supply of drinking water in towns and cities. Water companies have a statutory duty to provide a secure supply of wholesome water at all times, in particular for essential uses, such as the provision of drinking water. Water companies are legally required to have robust plans in place to maintain the supply of water in a range of hazards, including heatwaves.

Water companies use a range of measures to manage higher water demand expected during heatwaves and respond to any disruption. These measures include ensuring their networks are prepared, customer communications to help manage demand, re-routing of water via their networks, and the provision of alternative water supplies, for example via tanker deliveries. In the event of disruptions, water companies also maintain priority access registers, which vulnerable customers can register with for provision of bottled water.

The Government is communicating frequently with water companies to monitor their performance and re-iterate the importance of maintaining supplies to customers.

Water companies also support the Refill campaign, a scheme which makes it easier for people to find places to refill water bottles, wherever they are, shops, businesses, fountains and transport hubs, for free.

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