UK Water Suppliers ‘Bracing’ For Summer Drought
2017 was one of the driest years the UK has ever experienced since the drought of 1976, which saw reservoirs dry out, gardeners banned from using hosepipes (with patrols out in force to ensure these bans were being followed) and even a minister for drought being appointed.
And with the South African city of Cape Town expected to run out of water on April 12th (dubbed Day Zero), water suppliers in the UK are now being reminded about the need to prioritise water security at the moment, the Daily Telegraph reports.
It might not feel as though a drought is likely this summer when you look out of the window on a dreary February day to see nothing but wind, rain, snow and sleet – but it seems that there are many worried about the impact that the weather conditions could have in the near future.
Environment Agency figures, for example, show that in the south-east it isn’t nearly as damp as it should be for the time of year – and the same applied in 2017 as well. But in the north-west, rainfall has been higher than average.
Senior planner at Affinity Water Graham Turk explained to the news source that this is a “one-in-30-year event”, noting that even though we’re not going to face the same problems as Cape Town rainfall does need to be above average for this month and next to help reduce the chances of having to implement water restrictions later on in the year.
Mr Turk went on to say: “Ideally, we’d like to see an absolute downpour and some constant above average rates of rainfall over the next two months. That would be superb. It’s a function of working in the water industry that we constantly pray for drizzle in winter.”
He added that in the last 12 months we’ve seen 80 per cent of the long-term average for rainfall, but where the aquifers are concerned only 50 per cent is actually reaching them.
Environment Agency representative Stuart Sampson confirmed that the organisation is working alongside businesses, water companies and farmers to help balance the needs of water consumers and provide advice as and when required. Suppliers, for example, will be instructing people on how best to use their water, as well as considering taking action to enhance and preserve their supplies.
So for companies, now would be the perfect time to sit your members of staff down and stress the importance of being more mindful with how they use this precious resource both at work and at home. For example, food left on plates in the office kitchen could be scraped into the bin rather than washed down the sink. And the taps could be turned off while people are washing their hands before rinsing, or while brushing teeth.
There are also lots of eco-friendly products that your company could consider investing in to help reduce the amount of water used. If you’d like to find out more about commercial water saving, get in touch with us today.