How new meters could help save precious water

Thousands of homes will be offered new water meters, which allow consumers to monitor their bills da

Thousands of homes will be offered new water meters, which allow consumers to monitor their bills daily Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Households with water meters are being offered new devices which can tell consumers how much they are using each day.

Anglian Water said usage fell by 8pc across the entire town during a three-year trial of the technology in Newmarket, in Suffolk.

Now the firm has announced a £180m five-year plan to install 760,000 new meters across the region.

A spokesman said consumers in parts of Norwich including Spixworth and Blofield would be the first in Norfolk to be offered one, followed by those in Dereham.

Existing users will be offered an upgrade, while households requesting a meter will be given one of the new devices.

Meter usage is not compulsory and those who request one can return it if they do not save money by using it. Some 93pc of homes have one fitted.

Anglian Water said the installation programme, which begins next month, is part of its long-term strategy to protect future water resources in a region with a predicted deficit of 30m litres a day by 2025.

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The first locations to be upgraded will be in the most water stressed and fastest growing parts of Anglian’s region in Norfolk, Essex and Lincolnshire.

Teams of engineers from contractor Arqiva will be fitting around 750 meters a day. There will be little disruption for most customers as meters are typically located outside the home.

Helping customers use less water is central to Anglian’s plans to tackle future water shortages, as detailed in its Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP). The document sets out how the water company will meet the increasing demands of customers, combined with the significant pressures of a changing climate and fast growing population, and balance them with the needs of the wider environment over the next 25 years.

Peter Simpson, Anglian Water’s chief executive officer, said it hoped to help customers understand their water use and pinpoint property-side leaks which can lose hundreds of litres a day.

He said the firm was also investing in 500km of new pipes and pumping equipment, to upgrade the network and enable it to move water around more easily from areas of surplus to those of deficit.