Hosepipe ban in force in parts of Wales since August comes to an end
A hosepipe ban in force in Pembrokeshire and parts of Carmarthenshire since August is coming to an end, it has been announced.
Welsh Water said it was reminding its three million customers that it’s still important to continue to avoid wasting water so that its 91 reservoirs have the best chance of refilling fully over the winter months.
However, the company confirmed that it was lifting the Temporary Use Ban – more commonly known as a hosepipe ban – that has been in place since 19 August for its customers served by Llys-y-Frân Reservoir, near Haverfordwest.
Customers across Pembrokeshire and some adjoining parts of Carmarthenshire haven’t been able to use a hosepipe after the reservoir fell into drought. The restriction is lifted with immediate effect.
Between March and September Wales received just 63.8% of its expected rainfall, the driest seven-month period in 150 years (based on provisional data). This means, the last seven months combined have been drier than any other equivalent period, including 1995 and 1976.
All of Wales remains in drought status according to Natural Resource Wales.
But Ian Christie, Managing Director of Water Services at Welsh Water, said: “We are pleased that we are able to lift the hosepipe ban for our customers served by Llys-y-Frân reservoir and we really do thank them for their full co-operation which really did help ensure we kept the water flowing to our customers there throughout the summer and protect key rivers in Pembrokeshire. We are also writing to our customers in the area confirming the ban has been lifted.
“While this is good news, we are not out of the woods yet. Our reservoirs are dependent on rain to refill over the autumn and winter. Over the past six months, Wales has had one of the longest and driest periods on record and in September only saw 50% of the long term average rainfall and our reservoir levels in some areas – particularly south east Wales – are far lower than they would normally be at this time of year. The forecast for a drier than average autumn, with only limited rain expected in the immediate future is a concern.
“While we always ask customers not to waste water, we’re encouraging all customers to only use what they need over the autumn and winter to help ensure our reservoirs refill as quickly as possible and that there is sufficient water for all our customers next summer.
“We will also play our part by continuing to work as hard as possible on finding and fixing leaks as quick as we can and investing in the network to make it as efficient as possible”.
While rain is now falling and helping some reservoirs like Llys-y-Frân, the rain isn’t heavy enough or lasting long enough to have a significant effect on levels at all reservoirs.
This is particularly true of reservoirs in the southeast of Wales where levels at some reservoirs are continuing to drop.
With no significant rain in the forecast, reservoirs will need customers to use less water to ensure that they refill ready for next summer. This is particularly important with the effects of climate change being reported as being linked to increasing the likelihood of droughts in future.
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