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As a hot weekend approaches Southern Water asks Crawley residents to use water wisely as demand soars

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Before anyone thinks it’s about a water shortage, it isn’t. It’s about water demand and there is a difference.

The UK is ten weeks into lockdown, with many hundreds of thousands of people at home all day who wouldn’t normally be.

This means a lot of additional hand washing and increased usage in the home (more showers, more washing and more cleaning and cooking etc.)

With all the glorious sunny weather then of course paddling pools, hose pipes and sprinklers are all on the cards.

After all, people are all stuck at home unable to go to the beach or away on holiday as many would normally at this time of year – so those with gardens want to make the most of them, stay cool and water plants.

And with one of the wettest Januarys and Februarys on record there is no problem right?

Well, it’s not that clear cut and here’s why…

Yes there is enough water sat in reservoirs right now thanks to the rain we have experienced, however, water of course has to go through a process to make it safe before it arrives at your tap.

On an average day, Southern Water treat and supply 538 million litres of water – enough to make half the world’s population a cup of tea.

In lockdown, people are using between 10 and 20 per cent more than usual. But even with the extra demand of lockdown, we can treat more than enough water.

However, in hot weather demand really soars and then it becomes difficult to keep up. Imagine being in a shower when someone turns on a tap downstairs – the water slows to a trickle.

And the hot weather coupled with the extra people at home has meant we are seeing some really high peaks throughout the day; in fact some days during lockdown we have seen an extra 60 million litres demand!

Sprinklers, hoses and paddling pools require extreme large quantities of water, something we should be mindful of during a normal summer anyway, but if that demand hits the network at the same time (which lockdown is causing it to do) it causes demand to out weigh supply.

Quite simply, if lots of people fill pools and use hoses and sprinklers – the water supply has to be split between all demands.

So you see, this is why water companies like Southern are asking everyone across the country to use water wisely during lockdown – the demand on the hot days is too high. The water treatment works which are more than capable of producing more than enough water for all essential use are very suddenly stretched.

Especially as these days fewer people have the single occupancy child paddling pools which only take a few litres and are opting for the larger versions – most pools are now between 500 and 1000 litres, with some whoppers as big as 3500 litres – that’s a lot of water! It’s worth noting that as we move further into summer; these sums of water can also go on to cause a water shortage too.

Based on just one average 500-1000 litre pool it takes equivalent amount of water for around:

We hope that this helps to make it clear that thanks to the wet weather over winter we are currently in the lucky position that there is no water shortage, but that Southern Water are joining forces with all water companies across the UK to ask people to use water wisely during lockdown, so that demand can be met at all times.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Poppy Appeal 2020

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith looks to raise awareness of the importance of continuing support for the Royal British Legion:

Throughout the course of this year we have seen so many aspects of day-to-day life affected by COVID-19, with few being more poignant than the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

With the pandemic impacting some of the more traditional and familiar ways we remember, I am keen to raise awareness of how we can continue to support the Royal British Legion in a safe and socially distant manner.

  • Poppies in the Post: The Royal British Legion’s website allows you to request 20 poppies free of charge, which can be distributed to friends and neighbours. Many of the volunteers who usually distribute more than 40 million poppies annually are unable to do so this year, so we are being asked to step in to support the Armed Forces community and ensure their contribution to our country is not forgotten. Please remember to make a donation to the Royal British Legion after requesting your poppies.
  • Printable Poppy: Unfortunately, large scale gatherings at the Cenotaph in London, at memorials across Crawley and around the country to pay our respects will be restricted to a smaller number of representatives. The Royal British Legion have therefore launched the Printable Poppy – an A4 poster which can be displayed at home, perhaps in the front window – for us to show our support.
  • My Poppy Run: A further consequence of COVID-19 are the changes to the My Poppy Run events which are usually held in October and November. Due to social distancing, these are taking place virtually, with participants being able to run, jog or walk while raising money.
  • Visit the local supermarket: The Royal British Legion have confirmed that supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda, in addition to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, as well as Lloyds Bank and Santander are supporting the 2020 Poppy Appeal. Each location has a number of cashless donation options, and Morrisons and Sainsbury’s offer customers an option to add a donation to their shopping bill.
  • Poppy Shop: With products ranging from poppy pins and jewellery, to clothing, stationery and homeware, 100 per cent of profits from the Poppy Shop go towards the Royal British Legion’s work to support the Armed Forces community.
  • Donate online or by text: The Legion’s website allows supporters to make a donation online, or by sending a text message to donate £2, £5 or £10.

While the ways our country reflects and remembers will undoubtedly feel different, the message remains the same. The sense of duty of all in the Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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