Village becomes ‘UK’s first’ area to run out of water

Villagers of Northend, Oxfordshire have been given bottled water

Big Zero Report 2022

As the UK swelters in extreme heat, a village in Oxfordshire has run dry.

According to reports, people living in Northend, a community located on the border of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, were left surprised when they saw that no water was coming out of their taps amid this week’s heatwave.

Thames Water, which is in charge of the water supply for the area, handed out emergency supplies, including bottled and tanker water.

The water cut was due to an alleged “technical issue” at Stokenchurch reservoir in Buckinghamshire which has reportedly dried up.

With higher temperatures coming in the next few days and a new Amber extreme heat warning issued by the Met Office, there are now growing concerns about the nation’s water supplies.

Derek Stork, Chairman of GARD told ELN: “The water issues at Northend have been going on for quite a few years now and are symptomatic of the lack of investment Thames Water have made in core water infrastructure.

“Our message to Thames Water is simple, fix the leaks in your infrastructure and implement transfers of water into the South East to cope with future needs.”

A Thames Water spokesperson told ELN: “We’re sorry to customers in the Stokenchurch area who are experiencing lower pressure than normal due to technical issues with our Stokenchurch reservoir.

“We have a team on site working hard to resolve this as soon as possible and the situation is improving and supplies have been restored to customers.

“We’re using tankers to help boost supplies to customers in Northend to keep up water pressures for these customers so they do not see supply issues as well as delivering water bottles.

“Customers may experience lower than normal pressure during periods of higher demand. These times are typically in the morning and during the early evening.

“We’ve also identified everyone in the affected area who has pre-registered with us as having special requirements, such as being medically reliant on water, so we can get in touch and make sure we give them the help and support they need.

“We realise how inconvenient this is, especially during such hot weather, and appreciate customers’ patience as we work to resolve things.”

Defra declined to comment.

Ofwat has been approached for a comment.

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