Published On: Monday 03 September 2018 08:53

Manx Utilities has confirmed that it intends to continue with the hosepipe ban and is thanking Island residents and businesses for ‘using water wisely’ initiatives; which have seen a 10% reduction in demand from the water treatment works.

Despite the recent short spells of heavy rain the reservoir levels have not yet recovered sufficiently and therefore regrettably the ban will have to remain in place to help protect the Island’s drinking water raw stocks. Unfortunately a few days of rain have not compensated for the long dry spell throughout the summer which also produced higher than usual evaporation levels from the reservoirs.  Water stocks are still 14% below the previously worst recorded low point which was in 2016.  Specialised long-range weather predictions from the MET Office are still indicating a lower than average rainfall for the next two to three months.

Manx Utilities’ main reservoirs typically have a catchment area of 100 times its size.  Because of the very dry surrounding earth, the ground is absorbing most of the rainfall that we are experiencing rather than feeding into the reservoir.  Manx Utilities has to consider the lower than usual level of raw water stocks which could potentially have a knock-on effect next year if levels do not recover during the winter period.

Chairman, Dr Alex Allinson MHK said, “We continue to monitor reservoir levels very closely.  Unfortunately a few spells of rain are not going to increase levels sufficiently after the prolonged period of hot weather we have experienced recently.  We are currently at the lowest water stock levels seen for 16 years and unless the long range weather predictions for rainfall change then I believe the ban must be maintained to protect our Island’s drinking water supply”.