South West Water supplies water to 1.6 million people in the region by borrowing it from the natural water cycle. 99% of the world’s water is the sea, part of which is frozen. Just 1% is fresh water on land available for use. The company takes 45% of the region’s water supply from 15 major reservoirs and another 45% from 31 rivers. A small amount of water comes from boreholes. Rain water is collected at 41 dams and reservoirs and transferred to 46 works for treatment.
Rivers are essential for providing and distributing water in the region. They are used to transport water from reservoirs to the treatment works instead of expensive pipelines.
South West Water's water storage strategy is based around three major strategic reservoirs, Wimbleball on Exmoor, Colliford on Bodmin Moor and Roadford in West Devon. These are supported by smaller reservoirs and networks throughout the region.