Following recent warnings about possible water shortages, Jersey Water is advising Islanders that, unless there is significant rainfall in the near future, the Company may have to implement formal restrictions on the non-essential use of water.
Following the particularly dry autumn, long range weather forecasts are predicting that, although some rainfall is expected in the winter months, conditions may be generally drier, especially in the first quarter of 2012. The impact of below average rainfall will mean that the reservoirs are unlikely to be refilled in the usual way over the winter period.
Reservoirs are currently 35% full and water levels are still declining, even with the Desalination Plant running at full output.
If implemented, the restrictions would include a hosepipe ban and other non-essential uses of mains water. Other domestic uses, such as washing cars with a bucket or garden watering with a watering can, would not be prohibited.
Managing Director, Howard Snowden said:
“Unless we see some significant rainfall soon, we are reluctantly going to have to consider formal restrictions. At this time of year they can have a somewhat limited effect as there is much less garden watering, for example, but it is nevertheless the next step to take in these circumstances.
Whilst we appreciate that long-range forecasts may be subject to change, we have to plan in advance. A drier than average winter and spring next year would mean that any formal restrictions may have to extend into the summer of 2012. In fact, parts of the East of England have already announced water shortages, so Jersey is not alone in this situation.
We cannot emphasise enough to Islanders that, whilst the dry weather is perhaps welcome at this time of year, it is having a serious impact on the Island’s future water resources and we must all play our part in using water sensibly and not wasting it.”
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