Collaborative water sector study on the peak summer demand of 2018

Project Description

Water companies have a duty and responsibility to plan for future water demand and provide a resilient water supply to customers. Every now and again we get a prolonged hot dry summer when demand for water increases dramatically. After a wet winter and spring, the summer of 2018 was the joint hottest on record for the UK. The south east experienced 58 days of total rainfall < 0.5 mm. The favourable water resource position at the start of the summer meant that demand was unconstrained by temporary use bans.

This presented an ideal opportunity to collect data on consumption and quantify the impact of a peak summer period on water demand. Artesia worked with 15 water companies and the Environment Agency to analyse a wide range of data and provide insights into the impact of the long dry summer.

We looked at long term time series data on system input through to shorter term detailed data on water use in homes and businesses. This data demonstrated that across the UK the hot and dry weather caused demand to increase significantly during June and July 2018. For example, Affinity Water saw peak demand increase by more than 11% for 39 consecutive days in the summer of 2018. The collaborative study developed a range of conclusions and recommendations to help water companies plan, act and improve future resilience in the event of future peak summer periods.

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