PEOPLE in the region are conserving water in creative ways due to concerns raised by a large-scale hosepipe ban.
This was the finding of a Leader survey on the back of restrictions in north west England, active since Friday and affecting some seven million people.
That region, supplied by United Utilities, has had the greatest level of rainfall ever recorded since November 2009.
But it has also had the driest start to a year in more than 80 years, with reservoirs already thought to be half empty.
Now 50,000 letters have been sent to Dwr Cymru customers warning them to be cautious and conserve water wherever possible.
The reservoir levels in North Wales aren’t as low as those over the border, but low rainfall and high temperatures mean they are considerably lower than normal.
For Nerys Wyn Jones, a keen gardener from Mold, the hosepipe ban is cause for concern.
She said: “I’m on a meter, so I realise how much water a person can waste. The recent dry period is a real worry for me. I try to conserve as much water as I can by filling half a bucket of cold water each time I run a bath.”
Mold shopkeeper Ron Hammersley says he is being especially careful when selling hosepipes to customers. He said: “I don’t use a hosepipe personally, but I’m aware people don’t seem to appreciate water as much as they should.”
He added: “The value of this commodity is lost on people in Mold, especially considering that there are some places in the world that suffer terribly from prolonged dry periods.”
David Henderson, 65, said: “I have a combi boiler in my house, which takes a while to heat up. As the water runs I collect the cold water in a washing up bowl and use that to water my plants.”
Richard Davies, who lives in Loggerheads, said: “I never waste water. I use a water butt and catch water that runs off my roof to keep my garden moist. Lots of people could do what I do to conserve water. It’s simple.”
Mold shopper Michael Fish, who believes we are all obliged to conserve water, has his own ideas for using this vital resource more efficiently. He said: “I think we need a west-east pipeline to supply water to the areas that need it. The rainy areas should keep the rest supplied. We should also put the sunshine to good use with solar panels.”
However, some people we questioned held contrasting views. Glyn Hughes, of Mold, said: “I go to Egypt every year, and they seem to manage fine. It’s ridiculous a hosepipe ban is even being talked about here.
“What about all the rain and snow we had in the winter? Surely there should be a more effective way of conserving water for the dry periods.”
And David Ress Jones, 66, of Mynydd Isa, said: “I’m ignoring the warnings of conserving water. I have a hosepipe which I use frequently, and until I get a meter installed I won’t be using it any less. I pay £600 a year to use water that is readily available on my doorstep.”
But Melanie Worrall, 44, from Flint, said she would stick to the guidelines. She said: “I don’t use a hosepipe to water my garden, I’ve opted for a watering can. Since the news of the warnings I’m going to wash my car less frequently. I’m going to abide by the rules as I don’t want to be fined.”
See full story in the Leader