Is there a simple solution to reverse the impact of dry spells and COVID-19 on water consumption?

UK water companies have been promoting water efficient living to counter the impact of population growth, lifestyle and weather pattern changes that are putting UK water supplies under increasing pressure. However, a combination of the population staying at home and the warm, dry spring weather has undermined that work over the last few weeks.

April’s rainfall was 40% of average1 and May was the driest since records began. Combine this with the increase in demand due so many people remaining at home, and warnings of hose pipe bans were circulating.2 The change in weather gave a short reprieve, but this pattern of demand is likely to reoccur.

In November 2018 the Met Office unveiled its predictions for the impact of climate change on Britain. A reduction of 47% in summer rainfall in anticipated in the next 50 years. Whilst house building is set to continue, with new home targets currently at 300,000 per annum. Conservation is becoming the buzz word of the water industry, as supply cannot be adjusted to meet demand.

BUT in the UK, attitudes to water means that consumers are resistant to conservation education. Whilst ‘smart metering’ and public awareness campaigns can have some impact on domestic consumption, it is unlikely to come anywhere close to halving usage – the target set by some water companies.

Water companies are required to provide a supply capable of delivering 10 litres/minute at 1bar pressure to a domestic dwelling (Water Industry Act). However, without care or effective water management, volumes greater than this can be taken by inconsiderate or uneducated consumers – despite current environmental concerns.

There is a practical and cost-effective solution, Groundbreaker’s LoFlo Check Valve provides a ‘cap’ to the volume of water supplied to any property. Set to provide above the legally required minimum supply, and not noticeably interfere with normal daily domestic use, the LoFlo Check Valve ‘attenuates’ the water supply to a property by the inclusion of a precision engineered, flow restriction device.

The delivery reduction means that taps left running, to clean teeth or rinse dishes wastes less water. The sprinkler or hose pipe left on each day delivers a lower volume of water, reducing consumption.

Simply installed between the water meter and manifold in any underground or surface mounted water meter enclosure, Groundbraker’s LoFlo Check Valve is an easy, low cost intervention that can be introduced without expensive excavation or retrospective work.

Smart metering and networks will be a longer term solution to reduce consumption further, but for an immediate, low cost intervention that could produce results this summer Groundbeaker’s LoFlo Check Valve is the only option.

Groundbreaker products meet all the defined criteria and are used extensively across the whole of the UK water supply network – whether that be North of Scotland or the Channel Islands.

For further details or to find your local distributor go to



Note: Section 63A of the WI Act states that there should be no impediment to a domestic water supply “for debt management”. Given that the LoFlo still provides above minimum supply levels and the impediment is not for the purposes of debt management, this condition does not apply.