Severe drought in England, timers used for showers

Paula Duffy's picture

The current drought in the central and southeast regions of England has led the water companies to send water proof egg timers to residential customers for monitoring showers.

Once again, a drought warning has been issued by the Environmental Secretary for those same parts of England, where ground water levels are lower than anytime since 1976, reports British media.

That year, reports the Telegraph, brought a summer of water rationing, damaged crops and wild fires.

Secretary Caroline Spelman said that without significant rainfall between now and the commencement of summer, residential customers will face severe restrictions.

Spelman called a summit for water companies and farmers who expect to be affected by restrictions that are bound to come if the heavens don't open up a bit more in the central and southeast regions of the country.

Start conserving now, Spelman said in order to help prevent a true crisis in three or four months' time.

London is part of the southeast region and a water shortage will impact the arrival of hundreds of thousands for the Summer Olympics.

Water levels are so low in both the Kennet and Chess rivers that Spelman's agency has begun moving fish out of some rivers because of the low levels of water, which is an unusual step to take in February.

Special concern is being expressed for indigenous species such as kingfishers, trout and water voles.

As for personal showers, well the water companies are suggesting that they be limited to four minutes a day. Cutting shower time by one minute, advised Spelman's agency can save a residence nine liters of water and apparently every liter helps.

Other standard advice for helping prevent a disaster and limiting residential water usage is to refrain from running water while brushing teeth and washing dishes. Switching to aerated shower heads, limiting watering of lawns and gardens and fixing dripping faucets is also encouraged.

Without conservation that makes a difference, regulations will be issued with the threat of fines for violators. It may very well be a summer without water filled swimming pools in the south east and central parts of the country.

The average water usage per person in England is 150 liters a day. It exceeds that of Germany which reports a usage rate of 127 liters per day. No reason was specified for the difference.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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