Welsh Water, Natural Resources Wales & Consumer Council for Water remind customers to use water wisely
Welsh Water customers are being asked to continue using water efficiently to help the company maintain water supplies and protect the environment as the current dry spell is set to continue through July and into August.
June was the hottest on record in Wales with only 24% of long term average rainfall during the month. With the heatwave now set to continue and only limited rainfall predicted over the next few weeks, Welsh Water is working closely with water watchdog Consumer Council for Water and Natural Resources Wales to remind customers that using water wisely will not only help protect supplies for customers but also help the wider environment. Many of the company’s upland reservoirs are used to release extra water into rivers during these conditions to increase river levels and protect local wildlife.
The company is now spending an extra £1.5 million a week to safeguard water supplies for its three million customers across most of Wales, Herefordshire and Deeside. It has already taken extensive action to prepare for and manage this prolonged dry period including:
- 450 people working 7 days a week to find and fix 140 leaks a day (80 in normal conditions). Whilst leakage has been halved in the last 10 years and is currently at an all-time low, customers are being encouraged to report leaks to Welsh Water as the company will also repair customers’ pipes free of charge if they have a leak
- deploying 40 tankers to move water around the network and installing temporary pipelines and pumping stations to help keep customers in supply where we have seen huge increases in demand
- pumping over 1 billion litres a day into the network over the past 15 days. This is 25% more than usual amount of water put into the network every day.
Customers are being urged to use water wisely:
- Take a break from watering the garden – the lawn will grow back quickly once it starts to rain
- Take a short shower instead of a bath
- Don't leave the tap running when brushing your teeth
- Always make sure any washing machines and dishwashers are full
Managing Director of Water Services, Ian Christie, said:, “The level of water consumption has reached record levels in recent weeks. This is not surprising after the record temperatures in June and the continued lack of any substantial rainfall in July.
“These challenging weather conditions are set to continue, and behind the scenes, we’re working day and night to maintain supplies by finding and fixing leaks, using our integrated pipe network to move water around and also using tankers to feed into our network directly. We’d like to thank customers for working with us and urge them to continue reporting any leaks and follow the advice we have issued on how to use water efficiently so that we can help protect water supplies also play our part in safeguarding the local environment.”
Natalie Hall, Water Manager for Natural Resources Wales, said: “We’re responsible for securing the proper use of natural resources in Wales and making sure there is enough water available for all needs including the environment and people.
We’re seeing some very low flows in our rivers and low rainfall totals across Wales during this prolonged period of dry weather and there are concerns that water quality and the environment will suffer if the dry weather continues through the summer.
Every drop of water we use is taken from rivers or groundwater, so we are asking people to conserve water as much as they can.
“Saving water is something anyone can do and doing things differently can make a big difference – like having a shower instead of a bath, turning taps off when brushing your teeth, reducing sprinkler use and using water butts.”
Tom Taylor, Wales Chair for the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Customers are much more willing to use water wisely if they can see their water company is going the extra mile to maintain a reliable supply of water, so we’re pleased Welsh Water is taking exactly the sort of action we would expect.”
“With no end in sight to the hot weather, we’d urge people across Wales to keep playing their part by making every drop of water count in the home and garden. Customers can soak up some great tips on our website and Welsh Water’s too - it’s amazing the difference small changes can make.”