Jersey Water has today (04 March) launched its plans for managing the Island’s water resources for the next 25 years, as well as announcing no tariff increase for 2010.
As the Island potentially faces future water shortages – with a widening gap between the demand for water and water available for use – the Company has commissioned an in-depth study into what the Island needs to do to safeguard future water resources.
The ‘Water Resource Management Plan’ is the result of two years’ work by the Company in conjunction with leading independent water and environmental experts (Montgomery Watson Harza Limited), and in consultation with the States’ Planning and Environment Water Resources section.
The plan follows the principles set out by the UK Environment Agency, which have been universally adopted by water companies in England and Wales, and considers:
- global trends in climate change – affecting rainfall patterns, temperatures and the availability of water resources, and assuming a 1 in 50 year drought scenario; and
- predicted population increases over the next 25 years.
It predicts that, if nothing is done over the next 25 years, demand will increase by 15% whilst at the same time water available for use will decrease by 11%. The resulting shortfall will be just over a quarter (26%) of the Island’s predicted daily demand, equating to 6.5 million litres per day in 25 years time.The Plan includes both measures to increase the supply of water available for use from existing and additional water resources, as well as measures aimed at managing the demand for water by reducing waste. It will involve a number of initiatives being rolled out over the next five years.
Water Resource Management Plan Programme – Managing Demand
|Universal metering||Since 2009 the Company has had a policy of installing a meter on every property where there has been a change of occupancy, or where a customer specifically requests one. At the present time 35% of all connections are metered. This policy is set to continue.From late Spring 2010, Jersey Water will begin a five year programme of metering all unmetered connections. This will involve the installation of approximately 17,500 meters.||Reduced demand for water of 10 - 20% per household.Overall potential reduction of 4% of average daily demand.|
|Increased leakage reduction||Extending the existing leak detection programme with the use of the latest leak detection technology.Continuing the water main and services renewal programme, at an average rate of approximately 2.5km per year.||Aim is to reduce leakage by 25%. A potential saving of 5% of the average daily demand.|
|Water efficiency initiatives||In tandem with the other demand measures - providing water saving advice & guidance and rolling out an education programme to help customers reduce water wastage.Water efficiency audits will also be offered for commercial customers.||Volume savings are uncertain; however the advice and guidance provided will help to enforce water efficiency in the long term.|
Water Resource Management Plan Programme – Increasing supply
|Measure||Detail||Possible added supply|
|St Ouen's Bay - increased groundwater abstraction||Approximately 1 million litres of water per day is abstracted from five small boreholes in St Ouen's bay. This represents approximately 20% of the daily underground flow of water out to sea.||It is proposed that water will be extracted from additional boreholes.|
This project will be completed over the next two to three years, subject to Planning and other permissions.Up to 2 million litres per day.Increased storage capacity of Val de La Mare reservoirRaising the Dam (by up to 9 metres).Increased storage capacity from 900 to 2,100 million litres.
Timescale as yet undecided but will depend on the success of the other measures in reducing the overall demand for water. This will be reviewed again in 2014 and will be subject to planning and other permissions.An extra 60 days of water in storage, based on average daily demand.
Managing Director & Engineer, Howard Snowden, said:
” We are keen to keep our charges for water as low as we reasonably can and I am pleased to be able to announce that there will be no increase in the charge for water in 2010.
The conclusions of the Water Resource Management Plan clearly show that, if we do not take positive action in managing the demand for water and protecting water resources, there is the increased likelihood of regular and prolonged water shortages in the future. This is clearly not an acceptable position for Jersey and we are therefore implementing these measures now to protect against this.
Small changes in the way water is used and small steps taken by our customers to reduce waste will all add up to help us counter the effects which global warming, increased population and changing lifestyles are having on the water resources available. This in turn will help us to defer the significant capital expenditure involved in extending Val de la Mare Reservoir and thereby keeping the price of water down for as long as possible.
Water efficiency goes hand in hand with lower water bills. One of our key objectives is reducing water wastage, not restricting use. By introducing Island wide metering we are introducing the ability for our customers to control their water bills by managing the amount of water they use, eliminating waste and becoming more water efficient.
Metering is a fairer way of charging. Water has a value, just like oil, gas and electricity, and that needs to be recognised in the way it is charged for and consumed. Our experience shows that many households will be able to reduce their water bills simply by having a meter installed and not being wasteful with the water they consume. Paying for water by meter means that our customers only pay for the water they use.
The metering rollout will commence in the most modern part of the water network so as to enable the Company to progress most efficiently and to assist with its network leakage reduction programme. This will mean that customers in the Northern parishes will be the first to be metered and those in the older areas of the network (in and around St Helier) will be the last. The rollout is expected to take approximately five years. No charge will be made for the installation of meters.
Each customer will receive advance notification shortly before their meter is installed, explaining everything they need to know. Most meter installations will be in the roadway or pavement outside customers’ properties, so minimising any inconvenience. Where a meter cannot be fitted, customers will be billed an assessed volume charge, based on the occupancy rate of their property.
As well as the practical steps set out in the Water Resource Management Plan, in early summer this year we shall be launching our Water Efficiency Programme to coincide with the installations of the first meters. We shall be providing customers with advice and guidance on how best to manage their water consumption, working with organisations such as the Jersey Consumer Council and others, and providing information on how to reduce waste.
With the aim of keeping everyone informed we shall be sending additional information and updates to customers on a regular basis. If anyone has any concerns about how the changes may affect them, they should contact the Customer Services Department on T: 707301”.