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Thames Water's daily leakage is equivalent to running a hosepipe for 73 years

Water companies are wasting astronomical amounts of water, with just one company's daily leakage equivalent to running a hosepipe non-stop for 73 years.

Drought has led Thames Water to bring in a hosepipe ban across the south of England. Image: Sam Gelder

The amount of water wasted every day by Thames Water is equivalent to running a hosepipe non-stop for 73 years, analysis has found.

Union GMB found Thames Water is leaking around 635 million litres of water every day. The analysis comes as the company enforces a hosepipe ban on 15 million customers due to drought. 

In total, analysis by The Times shows that England’s water companies are leaking 2.4 billion litres of water a day, equivalent to a quarter of the total supply. 

With a prolonged period of dry weather leading to drought being declared in parts of England, the public have been asked to conserve water along with some hosepipe bans restricting water usage. 

Messaging about water conservation has sparked anger among the public, however, due to the large amount of water wasted by water companies themselves.

Water companies have been hammered for failing to update infrastructure to cope with droughts and prevent leakage while paying out large bonuses and dividends to shareholders.

Anger has been further fuelled by some of the hosepipe ban exemptions, including free passes for golf courses to continue using hosepipes. 

According to GMB Union, Thames Water handed its directors more than £4million in pay last year.

Andy Prendergast said Thames Water’s waste showed the company was guilty of “jaw-dropping incompetence and greed”, accusing the company of “showering directors with eye-watering sums” instead of updating leaky infrastructure.

Leakage isn’t the only thing water companies have been criticised for in recent weeks. 

After heavy rainfall punctuated England’s heatwave last week, water companies dumped sewage into the sea in more than 50 places around the south coast.

Videos posted online showed brown water gushing from pipes into the sea, and warnings against swimming were put in place in some areas. 

The incident once again drew criticism from the public over water companies’ failure to update old infrastructure, along with calls to renationalise the water system.

It was later reported that sewage monitoring systems at some beaches are faulty, meaning people could be swimming in raw sewage without realising. 

Prendergast commented that privatisation of water had been a “disastrous failed experiment” and called for nationalisation of “this essential natural resource”.

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