Posted by: braddenvillage | April 23, 2012

Direct Gov – Advice upon Drought

Direct Gov – Advice upon Drought

What you can do – how to save water

Before you use water, ask yourself what it’s for and whether you need to use it.  Here are some things you can do:

  • if you really need to wash your car use a bucket (instead of a hosepipe) or just keep headlights, mirrors and windows clean for safety reasons
  • don’t waste running water while waiting for it to get hot, you can collect it and use it to water plants
  • avoid running the tap until the water gets cold every time you want a drink, keep a jug of water in the fridge so you always have cool drinking water
  • let your grass grow, this provides shade for the soil and helps retain water
  • don’t worry if your grass goes brown, it doesn’t mean it’s died, it will recover when it rains
  • reuse bath water for watering house plants or in the garden
  • use water saving crystals which expand and hold the water in your soil when you water it and when it rains

Why should you save water in a drought?

Reasons to save water during a drought include:

  • droughts are natural events, a period of low rainfall can lead to a shortage of water
  • we must save water because we can’t predict how long a drought will last
  • water shortages don’t just affect people, they can also seriously harm our environment
  • our water comes from rivers and the ground, so the less we use the more is left for the environment

What you will have to stop doing – the types of restrictions you can face

Your water company supplies your water. By law each water company must produce a drought plan. Their plans state what restrictions it may place on water use during a drought and when. Go to your water company’s website to find out how you might be affected or comment on the plan. These are the restrictions you may face:

Hosepipe and sprinkler bans

Water companies decide when to impose this ban and they don’t need permission from the Environment Agency or the Government. Anybody who ignores it can be fined up to £1,000. People can still use a watering can for plants and a bucket to wash their cars.

Non-essential use drought order

Water companies can apply to the Government or Welsh Assembly Government for these.  This allows them to ban more uses of water to conserve supplies, for example:

  • filling swimming pools and ornamental ponds
  • running fountains or cascades
  • operating pressure washers
  • cleaning windows with a hosepipe
  • washing boats or caravans

Emergency drought order

This is a last resort and would mean a water company could impose:

  • standpipes – supplies to homes would be shut off and people would have to collect water from standpipes in the street
  • water tankers and bowsers – where it’s not possible to use standpipes people would have to collect their water from tankers or bowser in the street
  • rota cuts – supplies to homes and businesses would be cut off at certain times of the day, such as for eight hours at a time

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