Save water to avoid summer shortage warns Minister

More than 300,000 people in Belfast and County Down are being asked to economise their water usage in order to avoid a summer shortage.

Regional Development Minister, Peter Robinson MP MLA warned that a lack of rainfall has led to a significant drop in water levels at reservoirs in Silent Valley, leaving them only about a third full.

Met office figures show that the period of September to December was the driest on record since 1971. In addition, there was also less than average rainfall over the past year and this pattern looks set to continue into February.

Mr Robinson said: “It is highly unusual that the reservoirs should be low at this time of year and I know it will surprise many people. The present levels in the Silent Valley do not pose an immediate threat to supplies. However average, or above average, rainfall and a reduction in the amount of water used by customers are needed to avert problems later in the year.”

The Minister said that the Water service has already introduced a series of measures to increase water supply from other sources, but he stressed that the public must also help by using water more efficiently. Some of the measures that the Minister suggested the public use include: fixing leaking pipes, turning off the tap whilst cleaning your teeth, taking showers instead of baths and washing cars with buckets of water instead hoses.

For more information on saving water, contact the Water Service Customer Service Unit on: 08457 440088 for a free leaflet. You can also text phone on: 08457 023206 or e-mail: waterline@waterni.gov.uk. (KMcA)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 November 2010
Builders 'Need Water Charges', Says RICS
A leading construction professional has reacted positively to this week's DUP policy document on dealing with Northern Ireland's financial crisis. However, he also disagreed with the First Minister, Peter Robinson's opposition to water charges.
01 November 2019
Body Found In River Bann
Search and rescue teams on the North Coast have confirmed that a man's body has been discovered in the River Bann. Volunteers from the Community Rescue Service Northern District were tasked to assist in an incident near Coleraine on Thursday 31 October. The body of a man who had sadly passed away was later discovered.
19 August 2002
Work begins on £20m Mourne water treatment works
Regional Development Minister Peter Robinson has helped to lay the foundations of the new £20 million Mourne Water Treatment Works at Drumaroad, near Castlewellan. It will be the largest Water Treatment Works to be constructed in Northern Ireland and will treat 155 million litres of water per day, supplied from the Silent Valley in the Mournes.
01 July 2003
Report shows NI drinking water in the clear
Northern Ireland's drinking water has met the required standards of cleanliness according to a new report The statutory 2002 Drinking Water Quality Report indicated that 98.55% of all tests carried out on samples taken from customers’ taps complied with the regulatory standards set by the Water Quality Regulations (Northern Ireland) for 2002.
19 September 2001
Water Service moves to prevent cryptosporidium contamination
DRD Water Service has made substantial progress in implementing a series of recommendations designed to prevent a repeat outbreak of cryptosporidium in the public water supply. The measures were outlined in a recently published report into the cryptosporidium contamination that occurred at Dunore Point water supply earlier this year.