North West weather sets new record for water demand

With the heatwave set to continue across the North West, engineers from water company United Utilities are busy behind the scenes, making sure water supplies continue to meet unprecedented demand.

The record temperatures are setting new records for water consumption, with the region’s 3 million households and 200,000 businesses tapping into 1,958 million litres yesterday, 200 million litres more than usual.

That amount is the largest ever recorded in recent memory and experts predict the daily amount could top 2 billion litres later this week.

Highest demand is from urban communities where people having more showers and watering their gardens is thought to be the reason behind the surge.

The record demand is prompting water company experts to urge people to go easy on the environment by following a few simple steps.

Dr Martin Padley, the company’s director of water and scientific services said: “Everyone’s enjoying the warm, dry weather but it’s worth remembering that being water wise helps everyone. “While our reservoirs are still more than three quarters full, as you’d expect, all this activity means we are sensibly putting well-rehearsed procedures in place to preserve water wherever we can and we would encourage others to do the same by reducing waste. It’s easy to do and could even save energy and money.”

United Utilities’ large integrated water pipeline network means supplies can be moved around the region to make more use of water from areas where more is available.

But it’s never a bad time to start thinking about being smarter and more sustainable by following a few simple tips. Little changes can make a big difference.

United Utilities top tips for saving water, energy and money include the following:

1. Use a watering can instead of a hosepipe for everything from watering your garden to filling a paddling pool and washing your car. You’d be surprised how much less water you use.

2. Install a water butt to collect rainwater for watering your garden. United Utilities’ website offers discounted products.

3. Water your garden early in the morning or in the evening, when it is cooler and more likely to reach their roots rather than evaporate.

4. Have a four-minute shower, instead of a bath.

5. Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth.

6. Only wash full loads in your washing machine or dishwasher.