FOLLOWING the driest year since 1976, record temperatures and an increased demand for water, water resources (or reservoirs) for the Pembrokeshire area are approaching drought levels.
While this does not pose an immediate risk to water supplies for the area, Welsh Water is having to take steps to ensure enough water remains to continue supplying customers and to protect the local environment over the coming months.
From 08.00am on August 19th, the company has announced that a Temporary Use Ban, more commonly known as a hosepipe ban, will come into force for customers in Pembrokeshire. This will mean that customers will not be able to use a hosepipe to carry out activities in and around their properties such as watering plants or filling paddling pools or hot tubs.
Pembrokeshire has only seen just over 60% of the expected rainfall between March and July and since becoming aware of the lower than normal rainfall, the company has undertaken a number of activities to help conserve water in the area. This has included increased detection and repair of leaks, plus the use of water tankers to respond to peak periods of demand in some parts of the County.
The situation in Pembrokeshire is not unique in the UK and water companies in the south east of England have already introduced a hosepipe bans.
Ian Christie, Welsh Water’s Managing Director of Water Services said:
“We have not seen such prolonged dry conditions in Pembrokeshire since 1976. Introducing the hosepipe ban is not a decision we have taken lightly, however if we are to make sure there is enough water to see us through the rest of the summer and into the autumn then we need to act now to try and prevent any further restrictions later on. The ban will apply to just over 2% of the three million population we serve in Wales. More broadly we do not intend to introduce restrictions more widely across our operating area.
“We have done a lot of work to communicate with customers in the area over the past few months about the importance of not wasting any water and we really do appreciate the steps people have already taken. We would urge everyone now across Pembrokeshire to respect the ban and not use a hosepipe. There are exceptions, particularly for those holding a Blue Badge or on our Priority Service Register. A full list of what people aren’t allowed to do under the ban and the exceptions can be found on our website – www.dwrcymru.com/drought. We will also be writing to all customers that will be affected and publicising the ban more widely in the area.”
Ahead of implementing the ban, the company will run a seven day consultation period between 10th and 17th August. If anyone would like to make a representation to the company to be considered for an exemption not already outlined in the ban, then they should do so during that period.
Mr Christie added:
“While the ban is in place, we will continue expending every effort we can to conserve water. Our teams will be out around the clock finding and fixing leaks as quickly as possible. Customers can also help us here by reporting leaks to us as soon as they notice them. We would like to thank customers for their cooperation on this and hopefully by working together we can protect drinking water supplies and prevent any further restrictions in the near future.”