Water Shortage Risk Increases Even After Heavy Rainfall

A lack of sustained rainfall combined with high customer demand continues to present challenges to maintaining Scottish Water customer supplies – and could do so for weeks to come.

With some rain predicted in the coming days, we believe it is unlikely to be enough to replenish reservoir levels which are currently below average across the country.

High levels of water use nationally, especially in and around homes and gardens, will continue to place strain on the distribution network which brings it to customers’ taps.

And going into the weekend with temperatures expected to remain generally high and any rain anticipated to fall in the west, customers are being asked to again consider their use of water.

Kes Juskowiak, General Manager, Customer Water Services, said: “Reservoir storage is below average, demand has been at a higher-than-normal level over a sustained period and the largely warm dry weather is expected to continue.

“Whilst some rainfall is expected, it simply won’t be enough to see our assets start to recover. If customer demand remains higher than normal there will be more strain on our systems.

“I would ask customers: do you need to use water for things like power washers, garden hoses and sprinklers, paddling pools that in some cases require hundreds of litres to fill?

“Our teams are working around the clock to keep supplies running and keep up with the volume customers are using. During the last seven days we saw a period of peak demand where an additional 200-250 mega litres a day were required over 48 hours – just to keep up.

“That’s not sustainable in the current circumstances. If the summer continues to remain dry and demand stays high, we will face some real challenges.”

The additional volume distributed to customers is the equivalent of 125 Olympics swimming pools – or three million baths. A range of operational activity is taking place across Scotland to manage water supplies and distribution network including using tankers to top up local storage systems and helicopters to fly in equipment to island communities.

Customers are being urged to use less water in their homes, especially in their gardens:

  • Let grass go brown, use a water can instead of a hose or sprinkler.
  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn taps off, for example, when brushing teeth
  • Use washing machines/dishwashers only when fully loaded
  • Use a bucket instead of hose to wash cars.

We post facts, tips and activities on social media to raise awareness about why we need to save water and more information on saving water is available at www.yourwateryourlife.co.uk/save

This month we launched our ‘Water is always worth saving’ campaign. It encourages people to be aware of the water they use, understand that water is precious and worth saving all year round and make small adjustments to lifestyles to reduce any needless consumption of water.

Multi-channel, the campaign is across digital, social media, Press, radio and television. Scottish Water works with other organisations with an interest in this area and our Summer Community Engagement events programme will have a significant focus on being water-smart this summer and always.

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