Extreme weather warning: 20% more water pumped leads to appeal to stop watering lawns

In light of the UKs first ever extreme weather warning, Bristol Water is appealing to customers to keep cool, drink plenty, but use less water in the garden over the coming days.


The appeal comes as Bristol Water say they’re pumping 20% more water into the system than an average July, a huge 59 extra million litres of water. As well as the heatwave, the water company say COVID-19 means fewer of us are leaving the region and therefore causing an increase in demand.


Liz Cornwell, Water Resources Manager said, “We’re working extra hard to get even more water into pipes, but we’re expecting that demand might be so high, it will be a struggle to get water through the pipes quick enough. Normally in July, we see demand for water decrease with much of the region heading off for summer holidays, but this year, the demand is going up as many of us are staying local.


“If we all take small steps, we can make sure there’s enough to go around for everyone. There’s also benefits to local rivers if we can use less – as if we take it out of rivers there’s less to support nature.


“We know that one of the main ways water is used is in the garden, and so we’re appealing for people to consider not watering their lawns during the heatwave, and take as many small steps as possible to use water wisely.”


Local Bedminster allotment gardener, Sharna Smith, said, “Unless you have a newly laid lawn, there’s no need to water it through a drought. It will bounce straight back. I always use mulch on my plants, this stops water from evaporating, and have a water butt installed so I can reuse rainwater. Plants like lavender are fantastic – they’re full of pollen for the bees but are also drought hardy.”


Bristol Water’s top garden savvy tips:


  •  Water in the evening when water is less likely to evaporate
    Stop watering lawns, unless it has been newly laid, it will return to being lusciously green when watered again
  •  Consider getting a water butt to store rainwater
  • Mulch around your plants – bark stops evaporation and weeds from poking through
  •  Try not to use paddling pools – or fill part way and reuse the water on plants
  • Try drought hardy plants like Lavender
  • Use a watering can over a hose if you’re able to, as hoses can lead to huge amounts of wasted water


Other ways to use water wisely:


  • Reduce shower times – even a minute less helps
  • Don’t wash cars – they’ll just get grubby again in a few days
  • Only part-boil the kettle if you’re making a brew
  • Use soapy water on houseplants
  • Fill your washing machines and dishwashers up fully
  • Fix leaks and drips