Keep Cool and Conserve Water
While we all love to have fun in the sun, as the temperatures rise, so too does the demand for water.
With the Met Office announcing a ‘meteorological heatwave’ for Northern Ireland, from Wednesday to Saturday, with three days of high temperatures in excess of 27°C, a little less water usage can help save a lot.
NI Water’s Director of Customer and Operations, Des Nevin says “The amount of water in our impounding reservoirs is kept under continuous review and we are content with our current level of storage. However, it is imperative that customers continue to use water wisely, especially given the forecast for the next number of days.”
“At this point in time, NI Water is not introducing any restrictions. The demand for water has been increasing steadily over the past number of days and we expect it to continue to increase over the weekend in line with the high temperatures. The situation is however being closely monitored and if storage reduces significantly or demand became excessive, NI Water would have to consider the possibility of putting in place measures in order to protect water supplies.”
On hot days, outdoor water makes up to half of our daily water usage with paddling pools, sprinklers and hoses adding to an overall increasing demand for water. With the sunshine looking set to stay, it’s important we think about the simple things we can all do to stay cool and save a bit of water too.
Des Nevin also went on to explain how we can save water by looking at everyday habits, “It’s amazing to think that on an average day, each person uses around 170 litres of water, but this increases even more on a hot sunny day to over 200 litres. It really is easy to save water and there are simple things we can all do that can make a huge difference.
“All this hot, dry weather may have our lawns looking a bit brown and it’s tempting to turn on the sprinkler, but a sprinkler can use as much as 1,000 litres of clean drinking water in a single hour; more than a family of four would use in a whole day. Lawns are great survivors and with the next rain they will soon bounce back.
“While it is tempting, please avoid using swimming or paddling pools. Filling a 12ft swimming pool uses the same amount of water 500 people use for daily handwashing.
“It’s important to keep well hydrated and ensuring we are drinking enough water during this warm weather is vitally important. Topping up from the tap is a great way to do this but don’t be tempted to let the tap run while waiting for the water to get cold. Instead keep a jug of refreshing tap water in the fridge, cold water when you need it and less waste!
“As we start to feel the heat and head for that refreshing shower, it might be time to think about reducing the time spent in the shower. Not only does hot water cost money, but by reducing our time in the shower by just 2 minutes, can save around 100 litres of water a week. Why not try the 4 minute shower challenge, put on your favourite 4 minute song and see if you can finish before the end.”
To help keep the water flowing for everyone and ‘Get Water Fit’, complete our online water audit at https://www.getwaterfit.co.uk or take part in water saving challenges and receive your free water saving items including a 4 minute shower timer, toothy timers and swell gel bags for the garden.
Some water saving tips:
1. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth – A running tap can use 6 litres of water per minute. Over a month this wastes enough water to provide over 65 people with water for hand washing for a full day.
2. Use a bowl for washing vegetables – Then you can reuse this water for plants.
3. Make full use of your washing machine – Half load programmes on washing machines use more than half the water and energy of a full load, so wait until the machine is full before switching it on.
4. Fix leaking taps – A dripping tap can waste more than 60 litres of water per week.
5. Keep a jug of water in the fridge, instead of letting the tap run cold.
6. Use a watering can instead of a hose – A hose uses over 500 litres of water an hour enough to fill 12 baths.
For information on staying safe in the sun visit https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/news/taking-care-sun
NI Water are encouraging customers to sign up to its free text alert service which keeps them updated about anything that may impact on their water supply or any of our other services in the area. Sign up here https://www.niwater.com/register-for-keeping-you-informed/