With the island going through another dry period in June, as well as during spring, and Manx Utilities is asking the community to think about how they utilise their drinking water supplies in the warmer months of the year.
The organisation monitors water stocks throughout the year and works closely with the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture particularly in relation to the compensation water the reservoirs provide to the island’s rivers, which has to be managed carefully.
The Meteorological Office in conjunction with UK agencies also assist in the provision of key insights into predicted weather trends which are shared with Industry and Water Companies. The latest outlook suggests that July to September will most likely see ‘near normal’ rainfall, with slightly warmer temperatures than normal over the whole period but there’s a 30-35% chance of some hotter spells.
Chairman, Tim Baker MHK said: ‘Climate Change has seen many utilities having to respond to the reduction of available water stocks during dry seasons, coupled with an increase in consumer demand. With domestic consumption making up a significant part of total water demand, it is important to raise the awareness of ‘using water wisely’ and making smarter choices such as recycling used water, fixing leaks, and turning off the tap when brushing our teeth. Any proactive measures or behavioural changes will help to avoid the unnecessary waste of our island’s drinking water. In tandem with water conservation we must consider the energy we use to heat water and the emissions and costs attributed to that. Taking steps to conserve water and using less warm water makes it possible to reduce emissions by avoiding the need to generate energy to heat the water. Smarter water choices will help us in transitioning to net-zero by 2050.
‘As an island we are fortunate to have some of the best quality treated drinking water in Europe. It is of course important that Manx Utilities also plays its part through effectively managing its water stocks and reducing the amount of water lost within its networks. Ongoing investment into the replacement of water mains prone to bursts and the implementation of a smart water network for leak detection is part of that commitment. In addition our reservoir catchments are monitored 365 days a year including the management of Sulby Hydro Electric Plant to work flexibly with seasonal demands.’