United Utilities is stepping up its drought action plan
With no rain in sight and reservoir levels continuing to fall, United Utilities may soon need access to more of the North West's water resources.
John Sanders, United Utilities Water Regulation and Strategy Manager, said: "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."
United Utilities is also encouraging customers to play their part by using water wisely...How to use water wisely.
John added: "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.
After the very wet Autumn last year the weather pattern has changed dramatically and since December there has been only half the average amount of rainfall.
"With the dry weather continuing, there are simple things we can all do to save water like not running the tap while brushing your teeth."
How to use water wisely.
The first half of 2010 has been the driest period for the North West since our rainfall records began 74 years ago. Lack of rain means that reservoir levels are much lower than we would like them to be for this time of yearThat is why we are asking you to use water wisely in the home and garden. Small changes to how you use water make a big difference to our reservoir levels.
Here are some simple ways you can help to keep the water flowing this summer:
1. Order a save-a-flush for your toilet cistern - they're free of charge, easy to install, and will save a litre of water every time nature calls.
2. Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth - over the year this small change saves enough water to make 40,000 cups of tea!
3. Use a watering can in the garden - hosepipes use up to 540 litres of water an hour (which is a lot when you consider a watering can only holds around 10 litres)
4. Report leaks - if you see a leak in the road or footpath, give us a call on 0800 33 00 33 or complete our on-line form
5. Take a short, four minute shower instead of a bath
6. Use a plug in the kitchen sink instead of a running tap and save a litre of water every six or seven seconds (and if you use a bowl you could use this to water your plants)
7. Keep a container of water in the fridge - this will avoid having to run the tap for a cool refreshing drink
8. Choose drought resistant plants (such as geraniums) which will last longer during dry periods
9. Let your grass grow longer, it will wear better during dry periods
10. Only switch on your dishwasher or washing machine when full