Fall in usage slows, says Severn Trent

Severn Trent has reported a smaller than expected decline in water consumption amid near drought conditions over the spring.

The group, which supplies eight million customers across the Midlands and the heart of England, said the recent rain had been helpful, but was not yet enough to rule out hosepipe bans in certain areas.

It told its annual meeting yesterday that usage had fallen year on year between April and 19 July, though at a lower rate than expected. The utility also said it was keeping a watchful eye on bad debt levels after it raised prices by 4.7 per cent in April.