Lifestyle changes raise water demand, says Welsh Water

Llyn Onn reservoir in mid Wales Welsh Water's reservoirs are about 72% full following a long dry spell

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Changes in lifestyles in recent years have been blamed for putting increasing pressure on water supplies.

Welsh Water says the main culprits are garden sprinklers and the huge children's paddling pools that are increasingly common in back gardens.

People are being advised to use water wisely although no restrictions are expected this summer.

Welsh Water operations director Peter Perry said reservoir levels were satisfactory at around 72% capacity.

"Demand is up. We've seen in some areas, in the tourist areas, an 80% increase in demand over the last few weeks," he said.

"I think it's a range of things. Garden watering is a big draw on us. A sprinkler in an hour uses as much water as a family of four for one day.

"The other thing is very large paddling pools that you get in people's gardens.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Demand for water is greatest between 5.30 - 8pm - advice is to avoid watering the garden and washing during these times
  • Leaving the tap running wastes 10 litres of water each time
  • A dripping tap can waste a bath of water a week
  • You can use a water butt to collect rain water from your roof rather than waste-treated drinking water on your garden
  • Using mulch around plants can reduce evaporation by up to 70%
  • Source: Welsh Water

"There's lifestyle changes that have happened in recent years."

He said no water restrictions were currently anticipated, but customers needed to be sensible.

"I think what we would ask people to do is, with sprinklers, please use them infrequently or not at all if possible," he said.

"With those large paddling pools, the message is if people can use the sterilising equipment available with them rather than filling them too frequently."

Welsh Water, which provides water and sanitation services to 1.2m households, said the past few months had been exceptionally dry with very little rain to replenish reservoirs.

"At the moment all our reservoirs will get through to the autumn without having to impose restrictions," said Mr Perry.

"What could impact on that is if we don't get substantial rainfall over the next few months."

He added: "We're still asking people to use water wisely because the start of the year has been incredibly dry."

Environment Agency Wales said this week it had rescued hundreds of fish from rivers due to exceptionally low water levels.

One rescue involved 500 fish from the Melingriffith dock feeder, Cardiff, where they were struggling to survive.

WELSH RESERVOIR STORAGE (EXPRESSED AS % FULL)

Reservoir 26 April 31 May 28 June

Source: Welsh Water. NB: Craigypistyll lowered to enable reconstruction work

NORTH

Cwellyn

96

75

66

Ffynnon Llugwy

97

84

75

Alaw

100

91

82

Cefni

98

90

74

Aled & Aled Isaf

99

91

81

Morwynion

91

80

70

Bodlyn

94

100

89

Cwmystradllyn

94

81

70

Tecwyn Uchaf

83

74

65

Cowlyd

83

69

65

SOUTH WEST

Crai

93

79

69

Ystradfellte

98

83

70

Brianne

98

89

82

Teifi & Egnant

93

83

69

Craigypistyll & Llygad Rheidiol

63

65

60

Llysyfran

100

95

85

Preseli

100

92

93

SOUTH EAST

Usk

99

90

82

Big Five Aggregate

94

83

70

Llandegfedd

99

95

85

Elan Valley

95

86

77

Llyn Fawr

85

64

50

Taf Fechan

86

71

55

Taf Fawr

85

66

49

Talybont

94

78

60

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