Public warned to reduce water usage during lockdown
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
Water companies are urging people to use water more carefully during the COVID-19 lockdown.
With parts of Britain enjoying the sunniest spring on record, people across the UK are asked to put their hoses and sprinklers away and to avoid filling paddling pools.
Water companies are responding to a double water whammy from the record dry spring and a surge in demand as people spend more time at home during the quarantine period.
Christine McGourty, chief executive of Water UK, has stated that: "We're seeing truly incredible surges of demand" and that "people's patterns of using water have changed with the weather - and more people at home because of Covid".
A full hosepipe ban, however, has not yet been imposed despite water demand up by 25 per cent from its normal rate.
Our sunny weather may partly be down to the coronavirus lockdown. Data from the University of Reading's weather observatory show that by 10AM on May 20, there have already been more than 610 hours of sunshine since the start of March.
These sunshine stats beat the 604.6 hours recorded in 1990, the previous highest spring total since the University's sunshine records began in 1956.
Researchers identify falling pollution levels, due to reduced travel emissions and business activity, as potentially having an impact on the sunshine.
Previous findings by NASA have shown that pollution is capable of forming clouds, while particles in the sky block sunlight. Reduced pollution levels are therefore thought to have contributed to the bright blue skies and warmer weather we've been experiencing over the past few weeks.
The long-term weather forecast suggests more dry summer months are to come.
Unless individuals adapt their water-use habits, we may find ourselves in trouble. Some firms have already stated that they cannot get enough water to the taps and pressure is dropping.