Water shortage advice issued ahead of weekend heatwave

Marcy Walker, aged 3, has fun in the sun in her Edinburgh garden. Picture: Scottish Water
Marcy Walker, aged 3, has fun in the sun in her Edinburgh garden. Picture: Scottish Water
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Weekend gardeners are being urged to use water wisely with the sweltering summer sunshine set to continue this weekend.

Scottish Water is urging people to think about ways to save water during their daily activities as a result of the prolonged dry weather.

Experts say one of the most effective ways to help reduce water use is to use a watering can rather than a hose to care for plants.

A hosepipe uses around ten litres of water per minute and garden sprinklers use around 15 litres a minute.

A sprinkler left on for an hour is the equivalent to six times a person’s average daily water use.

Leading retailer Dobbies Garden Centres has joined with Scottish Water in urging gardeners to think about their water use. Louise Golden, resident gardening expert and senior plant buyer at Dobbies, said gardeners could follow a few simple tips to continue to care for their plants and flowers whilst using water wisely.

Her tips on how to keep gardens healthy in the heat:

• Water in the evening so plants have time to drink up before the heat of the following day - and direct the water to base of plants rather than the top to ensure it gets where needed

• Mow the lawn less frequently and raise the blade height to reduce the stress on the grass – remember established lawns that turn brown usually turn green again when rain returns

• Move potted plants into the shade for periods of the day - for beds and borders in very hot weather create shade using an umbrella

• Add water retaining gel to the compost of patio pots when planting - it will reduce watering requirements

• Established border plants should have a good root system able to reach moisture deeper in the ground - so focus attention on new or shallow rooting plants which will be under greater stress

• Stand container grown plants on saucers of water

The dry and hot weather has led to a 30% increase in demand for water in some areas of the country – with an additional 140 million litres are currently being produced and pushed through the system every day to meet current customer usage.

Average reservoir levels are generally normal for this time of year but the current level of usage and continuing dry weather means stocks of stored water available for use are reducing.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re encouraging everyone to consider their water use in and around the home. One of the most effective and quickest ways to reduce usage is to use a watering can to save many litres of water at a time, compared to a garden hose.

“By encouraging simple but important changes to how people use water during the warm weather like the summer we’re enjoying currently, this will make a big difference to the flow of water around the network and protect supplies.”

For further information contact the Scottish Water press office on 01383 848236 or email natalie.walker@scottishwater.co.uk

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