Hosepipe ban warning after rise in water use in Northern Ireland

, Hosepipe ban warning after rise in water use in Northern Ireland

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Spelga Dam is 3.3 metres below its top water level.

With water usage up by more than 15% during lockdown, NI Water has warned a hosepipe ban could be on the way.

There has also been very little rainfall in Northern Ireland for almost two months.

Reserves have dropped so low a road which ran through what is now Spelga Dam in the Mournes has been revealed.

Maynard Cousley, NI Water’s senior supply manager, said high temperatures over the past 48 hours have brought the situation into focus.

“Water levels are dropping,” he said.

“Spelga is 3.3m below its top water level. This is replicated across Northern Ireland – not just County Down.

“There has been very little rainfall. If you look at the streams there is very little coming in to the reservoirs.

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NI Water’s senior supply manager Maynard Cousley urged people not to use hosepipes

“During the lockdown period we are seeing increased usage. During Covid-19 we have calculated that people need an extra 12 litres of water a day – just for personal hygiene.

“Household consumption is up about 15% and even in the past 48 hours there has been a big surge in demand and that’s because of the high temperatures.”

Such pressures have brought about a request that people refrain from using hosepipes – with a potential ban on the horizon.

“We need to reduce our use. What we are asking people to do is – please don’t use hosepipes. Please don’t use garden sprinklers it uses a lot of water.

“If demand continues to rise as it normally does with high temperatures then restrictions or a hosepipe ban are things that NI Water will have to consider.”

BBC News

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