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Richard Stainthorp to ask the Lead Councillor for Culture Heritage and Recreation: William Marshal As I am sure the Lead Councillor is awar...

1 Dec 2011

Are we heading for a drought?

Drought is usually something we consider in the summer months if the weather has been glorious but it seems Reading may be at risk of drought now.  It's dark, gloomy and feels like autumn so how come we don't have enough water?

Thinking back to the last year is hasn't been that wet really.  Dull, yes.  Cool, yes but wet?  No.  The water we drink and use around the home has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is rain.  It rains into rivers, reservoirs, onto the ground and onto man-made surfaces.  Rain that falls onto the ground seeps through the soil and underlying rock and is held as groundwater or in aquifers.  Thames Water can then collect this water for our consumption.  If it isn't replenished we face drought (see this story from the BBC).

What can we do?  There are some simple water saving methods:
  • Turn of the tap while brushing your teeth.
  • Fit a water saving device into your toilet cistern.
  • Use only the water you need while cooking and making drinks.
  • Use a watering can rather than a hose for the garden.
  • Install free water saving devices from Thames water which can be ordered here.
I just used the water usage calculator on Thames Waters website and was relieved to be told we are a very low water user using approximately 312 litres a day while the average is 656 litres a day.  We could do better as our outside usage is high.  For example we have a water butt which is yet to be connected and I am going to make sure it's hooked up by the end of the year (fear of messing up the down pipe has prevented it's connection so far).  I already use water saving gel in the garden so I am part of the way there. Phew!

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