Hosepipe ban lifted thanks to community support

Manx Utilities has announced that the Hosepipe Ban has been lifted with immediate effect.  

The ban was implemented after an extremely dry and hot spell was experienced taking the Island into a Hydrological Drought situation. The ground conditions were extremely dry and so the small amounts of rainfall being received on the reservoirs’ catchments were providing very little useful top-up for the reservoirs. This, coupled with an increase in water use due to the warm conditions and the evaporation factor, forced Manx Utilities to implement the ban. This decision was not taken lightly in view of the forward weather forecast and was necessary as water is our most critical resource and there are no suitable alternative supplies.

In June the position moved in that 110mm of rain benefited the reservoir stocks, particularly during the weekend of 27-28 June 2020. This amount of rain is approximately double the average for the time of year.  

Chairman for Manx Utilities, Minister Tim Baker MHK told B365: “I am pleased to say that our reservoir stocks have recovered sufficiently following the recent heavy rainfall experienced on the Island and local efforts to reduce demand. We have now increased the compensation flows we provide to the rivers from our reservoirs and from midnight on Friday the temporary use ban will be lifted for domestic properties. I know many people will be pleased to see this restriction removed but I also know the majority understand the importance of having access to essential clean drinking water that supports our daily way of life. We will continue to monitor daily levels of stock and consumption and would still encourage the public to use water wisely throughout the summer months in particular.”

Not all rain that falls necessarily reaches the reservoirs. The same amount of rain falling over different time frames can have a very different influence on our reservoir stocks.

The IOM Meteorological Office confirmed spring 2020 as the driest since 1984 with only 78.7mm of rainfall compared to the long-term average of 172mm.

Reservoir stocks are currently 77% of maximum capacity

Water demand reduced by approximately 3 million litres per day following the introduction of the hosepipe ban on 5th June. Since then, the Island’s overall demand for water has ranged from 28 to 34 million litres a day.