NEW – Balancing Supply and Demand Through Water Metering

United Kingdom

The south and east of England has an average annual rainfall of around 700mm, with effective rainfall only about 400mm; much less in drought years. The low rainfall, coupled with a high density of population, forecast significant growth and the potential impact of climate change mean that an already water-stressed region will become even more so over the next two decades. In 2010, Southern Water Services Ltd (SWS), in order meet the supply-demand gap, commenced a five year project to install 500,000 intelligent meters. This was accompanied by significant customer engagement and a leakage reduction programme in order to demonstrate that the company was also working to reduce losses.

The government and its regulators require all water companies in England and Wales to plan water resources at least 25 years ahead to ensure secure supplies. This is a twin track approach where the company must consider the cost-effectiveness of demand management measures before they propose resource developments. In 2009 compulsory water metering was identified as the preferred option for meeting the supply demand gap and in 2010 SWS commenced a five year project to install 500,000 intelligent meters. This was accompanied by significant customer engagement and an aggressive leakage reduction programme in order to demonstrate that the company was also working to reduce losses. The metering programme resulted in a 16.5% reduction in water demand.

Intervention features:

Demand Management Through Metering