Good Old South West Water.


Cornwall has been under a hosepipe ban since August 2022.

In November 2022, SW water said:-

Reservoir levels across the South West are now very low and, in particular, are extremely low in Cornwall, following one of the driest periods in the region for over 130 years. Levels continue to fall and will remain low for the foreseeable future, without a sustained and substantial period of rainfall this Autumn, which is not currently forecasted.

They seem to have removed this paragraph from their website now!

I thought I’d check with an independent rainfall monitoring site.  I chose Newquay Weather station.

As the latest full month of data was June, I extracted the rainfall for the 12 months up to June for the last 14 years.  It is quite obvious that we have had above average rainfall for the last three years.  Of course it is possible that all the rain fell on Newquay and avoided the reservoirs. Or maybe it’s due to:-

  • lack of planning for the increasing population
  • failure to cure leaks
  • lack of investment in storage facilities
  • complacency
  • or, encompassing all of the above, not giving a toss.


Meanwhile South West Water is polluting our beaches with raw sewage whenever we get rain.

From the Independent

Eighty per cent of beaches in Cornwall have been given raw sewage alerts after heavy rain in the South-west, according to the pressure group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

SAS monitors water quality across 68 beaches in Cornwall, in the South-west of England. Of those beaches, 33 have received a “sewage pollution alert” and 21 others have received a “pollution risk forecast or incident alert”.

Management (Fat cats)

In 2022:-

South West Water boss Susan Davy has more than trebled her annual salary with an award of more than £1m in bonus and benefits despite overseeing the closure of beaches after raw sewage was pumped into the sea around Devon and Cornwall.

Ms Davy, who is chief executive of South West Water’s parent company Pennon, is paid a base salary of £456,000, but with her bonus, incentives and benefits the company’s latest set of accounts show her total pay was bumped up to £1.6m.

The boost to her bank account comes as more than a dozen beaches across Devon and Cornwall have been shut due to pollution.



Then in 2023:-

As the rainfall dropped all the way down to average, and the chickens came home to roost over the lack of investment in infrastructure  and the huge bonuses paid to director and shareholder, she must have felt some sense of shame, (or possibly trying to hold onto her job following public anger):-

Last month, Susan Davy who has run South West Water’s owner for nearly three years, along with several other industry executives, decided to waive her £450,000 bonus amid growing public anger over the condition of the industry.

The decision contributed to her salary package falling from £1.53 million to £543,000 last year, as Davy only received her base salary, benefits and pension.

Earlier this month, Pennon sparked outrage by raising its dividend for the year by 10 per cent to £111.7m, despite South West Water being fined £2.15m in April for illegally dumping sewage into rivers and the sea around Devon and Cornwall.

The company is also facing an investigation by industry regulator Ofwat into whether South West Water accurately reported leaks and the amount of water used by customers.



Poor soul, how will she manage to live off only £543,000 per year?

In April the piece of paper known as South West Water was fined £2.1m for pollution offences.  This is simply an example of a certain section of society looking after its own. See Fining Pieces of Paper.