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More Rain Needed 29 October 2003

Rainfall on the island remains at relatively low levels. This month there has been 62.6 mm of rain at West Baldwin, which is only thatís 43% of the long term average of 145 mm for the month to date.

Over the past 3 months rainfall at West Baldwin totals 133mm compared to a long term average of 410mm, and over the year it stands at 460mm which is 39% down on average.

The Chief Executive, Patrick Heaton-Armstrong commented

The supply situation has changed very little since this time last week. Our supply arrangements continue to be precariously balanced but stable and, provided customers do not waste water, should remain that way. Again this week the forecast is for some localised showers, perhaps even heavy on occasion. However, prolonged periods of rain, which will begin the refilling process, are not yet being forecast. So we will continue to review the situation on a daily basis.

Fortunately there is still water on the island but much of it is in Sulby Reservoir. The water authority has been pumping water over the hill at Beinn-y-Phott to Baldwin Reservoir at the maximum rate of 13 million litres per day since early September.

Demand is currently 24 million litres per day, whilst consumption would normally be expected to be around 26 million litres per day at this time of year. The Chief Executive commented:

"Many thanks to the public for their careful efforts to conserve supplies, we really can see a significant difference. Letís keep it that way."

A hosepipe ban has been in place since the 9th of October and is to be extended to the end of November. Notices will appear in the newspapers this week.

The Water Authority continues to have problems with discoloured water, but the systematic programme of flushing water from hydrants around the Island to remove discolouration deposits ceased three weeks ago in order to conserve stocks of water. However, the number of complaints has not risen as might have been expected. It is thought that as customers have become aware of the drought situation they have reluctantly accepted that supplies might become slightly discoloured.

At the present time the situation for each of the reservoirs is as follows:

  • West Baldwin, 46% full, 34 days supply, the water level has come up by 550mm in a week
  • Ballure, 76% full, 32 days supply, a slight increase in the water level
  • Clypse, 10% full, not taking water, no change
  • Kerrowdhoo, 17% full, a rise of 380 mm in water level due input from Clypse Reservoir but still not taking water as it still has a distinctive odour
  • Cringle, 16% full, not taking water, the water level has come up by 610mm
  • Sulby, 71% full Ė about one yearís supply Ė the water level has dropped by 450mm during last week.

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