Friday, April 5th 2013, 6:27 AM EDT
A WARNING to millions of customers to watch how much water they use this summer provoked scorn last night after the worst floods for decades
With many areas still recovering from last year’s record rainfall, water firms called for “wise” usage to prevent restrictions.
One company said that people should show caution as Britain is “never more than 18 months away” from a drought.
The warnings sparked outrage with campaigners branding the comments “weird” and “insensitive” just months after England’s wettest summer on record last year.
And they came days after millions of households, already struggling with soaring energy bills, were hit with hikes in water tariffs.
Consumer groups last night reacted furiously to the calls from water companies Thames, South East and Anglian. Environment consultant Fred Pearce said: “This does seem very odd, it has been incredibly wet over the past year and there is more rain on the way next week. I don’t understand what the problem is. Many people are still drying out from the floods of last summer – this is going to sound very strange to them.
“It is a bit insensitive, and extremely disingenuous when prices have just gone up, and it is a bit weird they should start asking us to be wise with water when huge amounts are lost through leaks.”
Marc Gander, founder of Consumer Action Group, said the comments could be a prelude to another round of price hikes.
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