Jersey residents should 'use water wisely' during drought

Image caption The island has entered an "absolute drought" after 15 days of negligible rainfall

Jersey residents have been advised to "use water wisely" as the island is in an "absolute drought", according to the Jersey Met Office.

Absolute drought is defined as a period of 15 consecutive days with no measurable rainfall.

The island relies on rainfall as it has minimal underground water reserves and outside networks.

No rainfall is forecast for six days, so people should be "aware" of their water use, said the Jersey government.

A spokesman for Jersey Water described conservation as a "concern" for the company.

"Many of the changes that [islanders] can make are small and will hardly be noticed, but together they add up to significant overall savings." he added.

What changes can be made to conserve water?

According to Jersey Water, the most effective ways to save water are:

  • Fix leaking taps as soon as possible, as they can waste more than 60 litres of water every week
  • Wash fruit and vegetables in a bowl of water, rather than a running tap, and use it to water plants
  • Turn off the tap when cleaning teeth, which can waste up to 6 litres of water per minute
  • Water your garden in the early morning or evening when the weather is cooler and less water will evaporate
  • Collect any rain water in a water butt in the garden, which can then be used on plants and lawns

The longest sustained period of drought on the island occurred in the summer of 1976, where there was 39 days of minimal rainfall.

Paul Aked, senior meteorologist at Jersey Met Office, said: "Long periods of drought can cause serious problems such as water supply shortages and crop damage."

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