Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

County Council and Water Companies Work Together As Drought Continues

West Sussex County Council says it will be doing all it can to help persuade people to use water wisely after a meeting with senior representatives from water companies, and the Environment Agency.

A hosepipe ban for a large part of the county, which comes into force on Thursday (April 5), led to the ‘drought summit’ at County Hall.

Lionel Barnard, Deputy Leader of the Council, 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.”

The meeting was attended by Southern Water and South East Water, which are both introducing restrictions, and Portsmouth Water, which is not introducing a hosepipe ban but has urged its customers to exercise ‘voluntary restraint’ over the coming months. The Environment Agency was also represented.

Lionel, who is responsible for environmental and community issues, said: “We will be doing all we can to promote and support water saving measures across all our buildings including schools, and providing much more information on our website which has already been updated.

“We have also told the water companies that our 36 libraries in West Sussex will be available to promote what they are doing to encourage people to use water wisely.

“Many of our services are actively looking at ways of saving water such as Fire and Rescue which can carry out ‘dry’ training drills unless they are safety critical. Hoses are charged to make sure pumps work, but are then turned off at the branch to avoid water being wasted.

“Vehicle cleaning will be kept to minimum, and only safety critical elements will be cleaned daily using buckets and sponges such headlights and other vehicle lights, blue lights, windscreens etc.”

Lionel added: “We also agreed that a further meeting to review the situation should be held in the next four to six weeks, and we will be inviting other key stakeholders such as the leaders of our District and Borough Councils.”

Southern Water’s Water Quality and Strategy Manager Meyrick Gough said after the meeting: “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.”

More details about the restrictions and water saving tips can be found on the planning and dealing with emergencies pages at