By Iain Smith
Islanders on South Uist have been asked to take steps to reduce domestic water consumption to try and prevent the water supply network from drying up.
Despite some near record high rainfall levels in some parts of the Scottish mainland over the last few months, some parts of the Western Isles have recently been enjoying some of the driest spells of weather on record for this time of year. The fact that rainfall levels have been well below normal has meant that the water levels in local lochs have fallen considerably – prompting Scottish Water to ask people to cut back on their water use. The situation in South Uist is so serious that Scottish Water have revealed that they are having to install a temporary overland pipeline to import additional water from nearby Benbecula to South Uist.
Scottish Water has now written to households throughout the island asking islanders to ‘use water wisely’ and advising people as to what steps they can take to reduce their water consumption. Whilst stopping short of imposing a hosepipe ban, Scottish Water has, nevertheless suggested that islanders should not use hosepipes to wash the car or water gardens. Other water saving tips include asking people to turn off dripping taps, using water saving devices in toilet cisterns and advising that people take a shower rather than a bath – as this uses less water.
Despite that warning that the water levels are falling, Scottish water has reassured islanders that it has measures in place to maintain the water supply and to keep the taps running. Scottish Water will also continue to monitor water levels, particularly sources serving South Uist to ensure it can implement measures where necessary to maintain supplies of driking water to customers
Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are encouraging everyone living and working locally to take simple steps to use water wisely.
“Toilet flushing uses around 30 per cent of water in the typical home. While people should use their toilet as normal, installing a Save-a-Flush bag provided by Scottish Water can save around one litre of water every time a toilet is used. People can also help by turning off the tap when brushing teeth and doing a full load of washing instead of a half load.”
“By making small changes to our habits we can significantly reduce water usage without compromising our quality of life.”