England

Severn Trent predicts no hosepipe bans in 2012

Water firm Severn Trent has said it hopes to avoid any usage restrictions this year despite claims of record low rainfall over the winter.

The firm said lower consumption levels by its eight million customers across the Midlands and parts of Wales were helping to ease the problem.

A spokesperson said water was currently being pumped across the region to where it was needed.

They said the firm was also on course to meet its 2011/12 leakage target.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman will meet water companies next week to discuss the threat of drought amid fears that parts of Britain may face the worst one since 1976.

Sarah-Jane O'Kane, from Severn Trent, said they were doing "absolutely everything" to avoid any curbs in their region of the UK.

'Moving water'

She said: "At the moment we're not expecting any at all this year.

"Obviously we're keeping an eye on the situation and it does depend on the weather but there's loads of things our customers can do just by using water sensibly.

"Little things like turning off the tap when you're brushing your teeth and knocking a minute off your shower."

Ms O'Kane added a number of engineering schemes were being put in place to "try and make sure that we can get the water where we need it".

One of them is a new £500,000 project to boost water levels at Draycote reservoir in Warwickshire.

"It's a lot wetter in the west of the region and we've got a grid of pipes where we can move water around our region and that's what we're doing at the moment," Ms O'Kane continued.

"We're moving water from where there's lots of it to where there's not quite so much."

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