Posted: Mon 22nd May 2023

Wales urged to be ‘water aware’ as Drought Liaison Group prepares for summer

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Minister for Climate Change is calling on Wales to be ‘water aware’ as Drought Liaison Group prepares for summer ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Minister for Climate Change Julie James is appealing to everyone in Wales to be conscious of their water use as we approach summer. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Minister confirmed that Wales’ Drought Liaison Group – consisting of water companies, Natural Resources Wales, the Met Office and other partners- has officially started meeting to plan ahead for all weather scenarios. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Last summer saw hosepipes bans introduced across Wales after several months of lower than normal rainfall and record breaking heat. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Between March and September 2022, Wales received just 64% of the long-term average rainfall for this period, making it the driest seven-month period in 150 years. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This placed significant pressures on water infrastructure and supply, wildlife and habitats, and the agriculture sector, leading to a declaration of drought. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Back-to-back years of continuous droughts will decrease resilience year on year leading to ever worsening situations. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

However particularly dry February this year was followed by the wettest March in forty years, with Wales experiencing double the long-term average rainfall. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This has been good news for reservoirs, rivers and groundwater supply as stocks under pressure have been replenished. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Unfortunately- the group says- this doesn’t mean Wales can rest on its laurels. Weather is difficult to predict and climate change means that we face wetter winters, drier summers, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense extreme weather events. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “This week is Water Saving Week, and I am encouraging everyone in Wales to be water aware. Please think about your current water use and any ways in which you can help save water. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Making small adjustments can make a big difference. Reducing shower time by a minute, turning the tap off when you brush your teeth and not letting the tap run when you wash your dishes, are great starts. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“If we use less, we will reduce the energy used for water supply and wastewater treatment, which will help reduce our carbon footprint and make us more resilient to climate change. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Thanks to the wettest March in forty years, the drought status in Wales is normal. However, as we have seen all too often in the past, the vagaries of the weather and climate impacts mean that conditions can change rapidly.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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