Supply costs to rise as water levels drop

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THOUSANDS of householders across the city face a £13 hike in their water bills to foot the costs of the battle to protect supplies.

THOUSANDS of householders across the city face a 13 hike in their water bills to foot the costs of the battle to protect supplies.The warning has come in after the publication of a new report by the Environment Agency that warns the East of England and other parts of the country could be left high and dry as estuaries, lakes, and rivers are drained too quickly to provide fresh water for the growing population.

And it is feared global warming means there will be less rain to replenish dwindling water supplies.

Bosses of the region's water supplier Anglian Water say they are planning to invest 2.5 billion over the next five years in its facilities to prevent water resources drying out.

But they warn the investment will mean the average water bill will go up from 360 in 2009/10 to 373 by 2015.

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With the city's ambitious plans to build 25,000 new homes by 2021, the pressure is on to increase water supplies and ensure a summer drought does not leave taps running dry.

Water flowing from taps in Peterborough homes comes from Rutland Water, near Oakham, and according to an Anglian Water spokeswoman, a multi-million pound investment to improve lagoons and water treatment will ensure the city's resources are safe.

Spokeswoman Sara Rowland said: "Yes the water situation is serious but a solution is achievable.

"It's all about water efficiency and being sensible with it, and also ensuring householders realise we can't take water for granted.

"We need to make sure water is not wasted and really keep our eye on the ball on putting that message across."

The Environment Agency is calling for all homes to use water meters, as those with meters use 13 per cent less water than those paying fixed water rates.

It is a call supported by Anglian Water.

Mrs Rowland said: "Some 62 per cent of our customers are on water meters, which is higher than the national average.

"Since the early '90s we've been pushing water meters because we knew in times to come it would make much more sense.

"Customers on meters tend to think more about the amount of water they use and are more conscious of not wasting it."

She added that educating people on the importance of saving water is high on the company's agenda to prevent a crisis and to save customers money.

One method is a mobile education centre which travels around the county visiting schools to teach youngsters about conserving water, and many schools in Peterborough have benefited from a visit.