Great Britain

Bradford water plea after dry and sunny spring

HOUSEHOLDERS have been asked to conserve water after a very dry spring - the sunniest ever recorded in the UK.

Gardeners are being urged to avoid using sprinklers in the evening as dry weather and the lockdown continue to drive high demand for water.

The call by industry body Water UK comes after what was the driest May for England since 1896.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “Reservoir levels are around 75% at the moment – we are seeing an increase in demand during lockdown, and on occasion have pumped an additional 140 million litres a day.

“We are asking people, as always, to take care when using water. You can find all of our water saving tips at www.yorkshirewater.com/save-water/.”

Forecasters say the recent sunny weather will continue until midweek.

The warm end to the month confirmed a significant milestone for the UK with the nation recording its sunniest spring since records began in 1929.

In England, the Met Office recorded 696 hours of sunshine between March 1 and May 31, exceeding the previous record of 594.3 hours.

Locally, Bingley Weather Station has recorded above average temperatures for the three months of spring with April and May being particularly dry. Just 7.8mm of rain was recorded last month compared to the average of 65.1mm while in April there was 14.4mm of rain compared to the average of 69.6mm.

Water UK said there was no shortage of water, but everyone using more at the same time as they enjoy the sunny weather outdoors can lead to lower water pressure, which affects how well it flows out of taps.

And after a wet winter, there are good supplies of water in reservoirs and there are currently no plans for hosepipe bans in the UK, it said.

Chief executive Christine McGourty said: “It’s a great time to be out in the sunshine if you can, but this record sunny weather is bringing record peak demands for water.”

A statement on Yorkshire Water’s website said: “We’ve all been enjoying the lovely weather over the past few months and it’s definitely helped boost everyone’s morale during what is a really difficult time. However, this good weather has meant we haven’t had much rain over the past few months and the levels of water in our reservoirs are lower than they normally would be.

“We’re also seeing people use more water than they normally would. Life is very different at the moment and we’re spending more time at home and in our gardens watering plants, filling paddling pools and pressure washing outside areas. We have some water-saving tips on our website to help you continue to look after your garden and enjoy water in a sustainable way.

“We have a team of experts who work hard to make sure we keep Yorkshire’s water supply resilient. We have the ability to move water around our underground grid network and utilise different options to help us keep taps flowing but we need our customers to play their part too. Small changes like turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, having four-minute showers instead of baths, and filling your watering can while the shower is warming up, all help.”

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