Share showers

People in West Sussex are being advised to take showers, not baths, following a ‘drought summit’.

And West Sussex County Council’s deputy leader, Cllr Lionel Barnard, said if people wanted to share showers and had the room, that would save even more water.

The meeting was organised by WSCC following the hosepipe ban introduced for large parts of the county - but not those in the Portsmouth Water area – which comes into force today.

It was attended by the Environment Agency, Southern Water and South East Water, both introducing restrictions and Portsmouth Water, which has urged its customers to exercise ‘voluntary restraint’.

Cllr Barnard said: “It was a good chance for us to find out more about the situation in the county, and we will be doing all we can as a local authority not only to lead by example in terms of saving water but by encouraging residents to do the same.”

WSCC will be promoting and supporting water saving measures across its buildings including schools, and providing more information on its website. Its 36 libraries will also be promoting the waterwise message.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue is saving water by carrying out dry training drills unless they are safety critical. Hoses are charged to make sure pumps work, but then turned off at the branch to avoid water being wasted. Vehicle cleaning will be kept to minimum, and only ‘safety critical’ elements such as lights and windscreens will be cleaned daily using buckets and sponges.

Another meeting reviewing the situation will be held within four to six weeks, to include leaders of district and borough councils.

After the meeting Southern Water’s water quality and strategy manager, Meyrick Gough, said: “We support joint working and it is important all the agencies involved continue with this approach throughout the drought.

“It is something we can all benefit from as we’re able to share information and work together on initiatives to ease the impact of drought now and in the future.”