Water pressure

PUBLISHED: 11:38 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 May 2010

YEARS of below average rainfall have led to increased pressure on Hertfordshire s water supplies. Water companies introduced a hosepipe ban earlier this year but there are fears that another dry winter could lead to further problems in 2007. That was the

YEARS of below average rainfall have led to increased pressure on Hertfordshire's water supplies.

Water companies introduced a hosepipe ban earlier this year but there are fears that another dry winter could lead to further problems in 2007.

That was the depressing scenario painted when the county council's environment scruitiny committee held a special meeting last week.

It was to look at what the county council, the Environment Agency and Thames and Three Valleys Water are doing to deal with long term effects of water shortages and examine what can be done to help conserve supplies.

"There is no quick fix to the problems with the county's water supplies - this is a long-term problem which we have already taken steps to address but there is still a lot more to be done," said county councillor Iris Tarry, chairman of overview and scrutiny committee.

"The response from the media and members of the public is welcomed. This is something that affects everyone in the county and it's promising that people seem willing to do their bit."

County councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, chair of environment scrutiny, said: "Although we are pleased that leaks are treated, in most cases quickly, there are still too many of them. No one would want us to end up with standpipes through the failure to adequately restrict leaks and conserve water.

"It was shocking to learn that in the UK we use nearly 25 per cent more water than in Germany and that 35 per cent of our domestic water is actually used in flushing the loo.

"Clearly, fitting simple devices to still effectively flush the loo but reduce consumption would have a benefit immediately."

The committee concluded that although everyone was already working hard to conserve water, local authorities, the Environment Agency and the water companies need to work even more closely to promote water conservation and ensure that the public know what they can do to save water.

The county council is seeking the support of the Local Government Association to put pressure on Government to review the rules surrounding hosepipe bans to make the restrictions more sensible.

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