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Sefton and West Lancashire facing hosepipe bans as water supply dwindles
24 June 2010

The north west will face the prospect of hosepipe bans unless there is significant rainfall before the end of this month, the region's water providers warned this week.

United Utilities, which looks after water supplies for both Sefton and West Lancashire, said that it has applied to the Environment Agency for permission to drain more water from the lakes, rivers and resevoirs which provide your water, as the current dry spell shows no sign of ending.

“Now, more than ever we need people to use water wisely. We’re monitoring the situation day by day, but if we don’t have any significant rainfall by the end of this month we will need a hosepipe ban to help conserve essential supplies," said John Sanders, the company's water regulation and strategy manager.

"Of course we need to balance the needs of our customers with the needs of the environment. By using water wisely we can all help to maintain supplies and keep rivers flowing.

"It's been an unprecedented period of dry weather since December 2009, and we need to take action now so we can tap into available water resources if the dry weather continues."

The company told The Champion that it is going through the legal process of gaining permission to extract more water from Ennerdale Water in West Cumbria, one of its main sources of water for the north west, and that it is urging residents to make sure they use their water wisely in case supplies run short.

The Environment Agency said the application follows the driest start to the year in the region since 1929, with many reservoirs now under half capacity, and with the dry weather expected to continue well into July.

"We are working to balance the water needs of people, businesses and the environment in the North West. We are working closely with United Utilities to make sure they are doing everything they can to secure water supplies, manage customer demand and tackle leakage," said Bill Darbyshire, the agency's drought manager.

"Drought also has serious consequences for wildlife and Environment Agency officers are increasing river monitoring to actively manage any environmental impacts from drought. The situation in North West England is a reminder that water is a precious resource which we must all use more wisely."

By David Simister


 

 


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