Calls to save water as dry winter is forecast

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After a glorious summer and dry start to the autumn, reservoir levels are still declining and a dry winter has been forecast.Engineer and manager of the Jersey New Waterworks Company Howard Snowden said that there had been only 13 mm of rain in November, and it should be one of the wettest months of the year, with 106 mm on average.And he said that a dry winter has been forecast, and a dry New Year, following on from a very dry summer.

‘We have not recovered from the summer months,’ he said, ‘and the water level in the reservoir is still declining.

In the early autumn we thought we would turn the corner later in the year, but we haven’t, and it looks as if we are not going to do so.’Annual rainfall has been only 40 per cent of the average level this year, with no prospect of a sopping wet December to redress the level.The desalination plant is being made ready to run at the moment, and will be brought into use in two weeks if there is no improvement – but he said this would be done with reluctance, because of the very high running expenses.The average level of the Island reservoirs is still half full, but Val de la Mare is down to 20 per cent; Queen’s Valley is rather better at 70 per cent.

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