10 Aug 2022

Banagher water levels are fine despite heatwave say NI Water

Banagher Dam Picture
By Maria Cassidy   Since the hosepipe ban was announced, the public have expressed fears of a water shortage from the Altnaheglish Dam, Banagher Glen. However, NI Water has revealed that the current level of the dam is not abnormal following dry and hot weather. A spokesperson for NI Water told the Derry Post: “NI Water continually monitor water levels in its impounding reservoirs and it is normal for reservoir levels to drop during the summer months. The current level of Altnaheglish impounding reservoir is 72% which would not be abnormal following a period of dry and hot weather. “NI Water will continue to monitor levels and take measures to control the abstraction from the dam depending on the water level and the time of year.” Due to the warm weather, last Friday NI Water announced that a hosepipe ban would take place from 6pm that evening. The company stated that the public should keep using water for only essential domestic use. They appealed to the public to only use for essential needs such as drinking, cooking and washing. Activities such as washing the car, watering the garden or filling paddling/swimming pools were prohibited. The company urged the public to adhere their advice, if not it would put a strain to the resources and lead to supply interruptions. The company said they have been experiencing a high demand for water and have been working at maximum levels. Causeway Coast and Glens Council have also urged the public on their website to use water wisely. “Northern Ireland Water is asking the public to help reduce the high demand on the water supply system by using water wisely. “The recent hot weather has seen an increase in the demand for water in Northern Ireland of 130 million litres per day.” Last week saw temperatures in Dungiven reach up to 26 degrees Celsius throughout the week. The weather is set to stay warm this next week with temperature reaching up to 24 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. On Sunday, NI Water thanked the public for their assistance in reducing their water use however they also revealed that the demand for water was still 30% higher than normal. Sara Venning, NI Water CEO, stated on Sunday: “ We would like to thank all our customers who are working with us to limit their water usage. However, demand remains much higher than normal, particularly during peak times, so we are still struggling to get water around the system quickly enough. “By helping us, you are in fact helping yourself, as the ultimate penalty for using water unnecessarily is not a fine it is the heightened risk of widespread supply interruptions. “We continue to maximise our water production and I am grateful to our dedicated workforce who are working continuously day and night to ensure we keep customers in supply. We have also been aided by a wonderful response from business who have supplied tankers to augment our own fleet enabling us to service reservoirs most at risk.” The ban was only for domestic use only as the company recognised some businesses and organisations rely on water for their livelihood. NI Water also revealed that businesses and organisations should use water wisely and to not use water for non-essential activities.  

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