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Drop in reservoir levels sparks water warning

colliford lake

Published by Emma Carton at 10:05am 10th August 2018 (Updated 10:07am 10th August 2018)

Soaring demand sparks a warning from the company in charge of Cornwall's, after a month of near record-breaking temperatures.

Compared to 2017, South West Water produced an extra 1,624 megalitres of water during - the equivalent of 650 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Figures show the total reservoir storage for the region is currently at 66.3%, down from 73.4% this time last year.

Levels in the smaller, local reservoirs reflect the ongoing lack of rainfall and increased demand for water.

However, officials say they are closely monitoring the situation and supplementing these sources using the three largest, strategic reservoirs - Wimbleball, Roadford and Colliford.

"Demand for water during July peaked on Wednesday 25, when we produced 554 megalitres - compared to 486 megalitres on 25 July 2017.

"The biggest difference between July 2017 and 2018 was on 15 July, when we produced an extra 86 megalitres this year compared to last year, an increase of 21%

"We've been working hard behind the scenes during the recent prolonged period of hot and dry weather, staffing a number of our key treatment works 24 hours a day to meet the increased demand for water.

"We are also putting a lot of additional resource into detecting and repairing leaks, which have increased due to the hot, dry weather; as the ground dries and contracts it pulls pipes out of alignment.

"Overall reservoir storage is at a satisfactory level but we are still asking customers to use water wisely to help conserve supplies.

"The more water we all save now the more will be left for the rest of the summer".

Rob Scarrott, Head of Environment

What can I do to save water?

South West Water is sharing its top tips for saving water in the garden and the home, which also saves money for customers on a meter.

How can I save water in the garden?

  • After the recent rainfall, the RHS advises that the best way to keep lawns looking healthy with more dry weather forecast is to keep it on the longer side if you do cut it and watch out for weeds appearing and taking over in bare patches
  • Use a watering can instead of a hose
  • If your garden needs watering, do so early morning or evening to reduce evaporation
  • Use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose to clean your car (or leave it for another week - it's only going to get dusty!)
  • Use any remaining water from your water butt first

How can I save water in the home?

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge so you don't have to run your tap cold
  • Use a bowl for washing up / rinsing fruit and veg - then use this water for plants
  • Have a shower instead of a bath
  • Only use your dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load (this will save money on your energy bills too)
  • Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need (this will save energy too)
  • Fix leaking taps and toilets

You can read more information and advice from South West Water here.

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