Water is essential to healthy life and our survival. Our bodies rely on water to hydrate us, while our food sources need water to grow.
It is also vital in our day to day living for washing, powering electricity plants, supporting our natural environment, sewage treatment and firefighting. It also provides leisure activities such as swimming, fishing and sailing.
Each day, South East Water takes more than 540 million litres of water from the environment and supplies it to around 2.1 million customers in the South East. This water is taken principally from underground aquifers, but also from rivers and surface reservoirs, within strict limits set by the Environment Agency.
Currently our reservoirs in Sussex, Ardingly and Arlington, are 85 percent and 87 per cent full and are expected to be at 100 per cent by the end of March 2017.
These reservoirs store up to 8,300 million litres of water and are usually topped up during the wetter winter months and drawn down in the summer, when use of water increases.
Together they provide eight per cent of all the water we supply, with the rest coming from underground aquifers and transfers from neighbouring water companies.
Groundwater levels across the South East Water area are a little below normal in some areas, but we expect this to improve by the summer.
Our reliance on our valuable resource and the increasing changes in our society and environment mean we must take vital steps to conserve water and plan for secure supplies for the future.
To do this we plan our water resources 25 years in advance to find the most sustainable options for providing water. Our approach is to manage customer demand for water and leakage, make better use of existing resources and identifying new resources such as reservoirs.