Water use warning as demand surges in ‘1976-style’ heatwave

PUBLISHED: 16:09 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:51 12 August 2020

A garden hose.  Picture: James Bass

A garden hose. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

People are being encouraged to reuse water and not use hose pipes unnecessarily as heatwave conditions continue.

The heatwave has triggered warnings to conserve water     Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe heatwave has triggered warnings to conserve water Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Coronavirus restrictions, the hot weather, more people staying at home and increased numbers visiting the region for their holidays has led to an increased use of water, according to Regan Harris from Anglian Water.

But despite demand increasing by 20pc, she said there were still plenty of water in the reservoirs and groundwater sources.

Miss Harris said: “The supply is fine. We have seen a real increase in demand over the last four to five days. It is quite unusual to have four to five days straight with temperatures over 30C. The last time that happened was in 1976.

“The demand for water has been unprecedented but our teams have done an exceptional job over the last few days. We have had very few incidents of low pressure. Try to reuse whatever water you can.”

She said there was enough water for people to stay hydrated and to wash clothes but advised using discretion when considering using the hose pipe and avoid activities like washing the car.

Other advice included if people do fill up paddling pools they should reuse the water on the garden.

Anglian Water was not enforcing a hose pipe ban but Miss Harris said: “Think before you grab for it.”

MORE: Be prepared for torrential thunderstorms as hot weather continues

She added it was important people did their bit to help the system because “when demand is high it puts a lot of pressure on the team to get water out to people”.

“We are facing a really unique set of circumstances but Anglian Water is very good at preparing for dry weather but this is unprecedented,” said Miss Harris.

The hot weather is set to continue into today but is expected to break with the arrival of thunder storms.

Fred Best, forecaster at Norwich-based Weatherquest, said temperatures could reach 31C today but storms could hit in various spots around the region although they might be more common towards the western areas.

He warned the rain could be torrential and take place throughout the day.

Temperatures will then lower tomorrow into the mid 20s.

Mr Best said that heatwave conditions are met in East Anglia when temperatures are over 27C for three days in a row.

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