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  • Barbara D‘Arrigo

The summer drought

The drought, which was officially declared on 12 August in the UK, has raised much concern for many people. Experts say it would take weeks worth of rain to end it. If the UK does experience a dry autumn and winter, the drought could potentially continue into 2023.

A drought is defined as a period of abnormally low rainfall, in turn causing a lack of water. Droughts are caused by a lack of rainfall and increasingly hot temperatures. This year has been one of the driest ever recorded and the rainfall was down by 34%. The highest temperature recorded this year was 40.3°C, the highest temperature recorded in the UK in over 100 years. In response to this, Thames Water has set up a series of regulations known as the ‘hosepipe ban'. It will be considered a criminal offense if you repeatedly break the restrictions. Bans will last until the drought is over.

The restrictions came into force on 24 august. Thames Water has asked you not to water your plants with a hose; instead, they ask you to use a bucket or a watering can to better regulate the amount of water that you use. Also cleaning vehicles, or outdoors on your property (windows, patios, paths) is not allowed. If you own a hot tub, you should consider not maintaining it or filling it with a hose. Also cleaning boats with a hosepipe is not allowed.

However, there are exceptions that apply to these rules. If you have a blue badge none of the restrictions apply to you.

Owners of plant shops are allowed to water their plants with a hosepipe. Also, any national parks are allowed the same.

Any care of aquatic animals is allowed, including maintaining an ornamental fountain, under the condition that it only serves the function of supplying oxygen rich water to animals in a pond or outdoor tank.

When constructing and maintaining a pool you are permitted to use a hose.

You are only allowed to clean a house using a hosepipe if you are part of a cleaning service.

Using a regulated drip or trickle irrigation system is permitted.

Fountains with a religious meaning are allowed to be maintained and filled with a hosepipe.

If you do qualify for any exceptions to the restrictions, Thames water still advises saving the most amount of water possible.

Other benefits of saving water include saving money! By reducing the water you use, you save immensely on your energy bill, especially with energy prices rising.

Other things you can do are take shorter showers. On average up to 2 gallons (1 gallon is around 4.5 liters) of water are used in 1 minute in a shower. It is suggested to take less frequent and much shorter showers. This will save water and gas if you like to take hot showers.


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