June 22, 2024

Water restrictions imposed in Southern UK as drinking water demand soars


Authorities announced on Friday that millions of residents in southern parts of Britain will be prohibited from using garden hoses due to an unprecedented surge in drinking water demand caused by a heatwave.

Beginning on June 26, a temporary ban will be implemented for individuals residing in southern Kent and Sussex, as meteorologists predict minimal rainfall during the summer.

Despite South East Water supplying an additional 120 million liters of water daily, water demand in June has shattered previous records.

The scarcity of water for sanitary purposes compelled three schools in East Sussex to partially close on Friday.

Chief Executive David Hinton remarked, “This situation has progressed much more rapidly compared to last year.”

He further added, “Despite urging customers to only use water for essential needs, we have unfortunately been left with no alternative but to enforce this temporary ban in order to safeguard water supplies for customers in Kent and Sussex.”

Southern Water, which caters to areas in Kent, issued a warning on Thursday that water demand in the county was surpassing supply by 15 percent compared to the expected level for this time of year.

– Coping with high demand and limited supply –

Temporary use bans, commonly referred to as hosepipe bans, are employed by water companies to manage supplies during periods of high demand and limited availability.

They restrict non-essential usage such as garden watering, filling paddling pools, or washing cars using hosepipes.

Individuals found violating the ban can face fines of up to £1,000 ($1,300).

Last year, England experienced its joint-hottest summer on record, tying with 2018, as reported by the country’s meteorological agency.

Some parts of the country witnessed temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), establishing a new record.

Certain regions in England are already observing diminishing reservoir levels due to prolonged dry spells.

In Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued a water scarcity alert for all areas, warning of significant shortages in one-third of the country by the end of the month.

Nathan Critchlow-Watton, SEPA’s Head of Water Planning, stated, “Our rivers and lochs are under immense stress, and it is evident that further measures will be necessary to safeguard them.”

Sources: Agence France-Presse and SGP

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