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News Centre > Thursday 13 June 2019

Guernsey Water unveils drought-busting plan

Guernsey Water's Water Resource and Drought Management Plan

Guernsey Water is planning to protect the island from the need for drought measures such as hose pipe bans for the next 25 years.

Despite rainfall in May being 54% lower than the monthly seasonal average of the past decade, the water supply remains in a healthy position with reservoirs recorded at 97.45 per cent full at the end of May.

However, Guernsey Water is looking to the future in its Water Resources and Drought Management Plan. It wants to ensure that its water sources and storage facilities will provide enough water for the needs of people and businesses on the island whatever the weather.

In the event of severe drought conditions beyond 2025 there would be a fine balance between water supply and demand which would require timely but temporary water restrictions, such as a hosepipe ban. But Guernsey Water does not anticipate such measures being needed more than once every 20 years, which is in line with most UK water providers and has been agreed by The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure.

Unless the desired level of protection from drought changes, it is not anticipated that any investment in new water sources or expansion of the water resources system will be required over the next 25 years.

But at this stage there is considerable uncertainty beyond 2040 due to factors such as climate change and an expected increase in the frequency and severity of drought. Given this uncertainty, the current allocation of Les Vardes quarry for future water storage in the Island Development Plan remains appropriate.

Steve Langlois, General Manager of Guernsey Water, said: "Guernsey residents should be reassured by the level of planning that we are undertaking. We have a well-developed and resilient water supply system including storage and distribution.

"Our investment in recent decades means that we are very resilient to single-year droughts and have a good level of resilience to droughts that last two years.

"Our forward-looking plan helps us understand the likely future changes in demand and reliability of supply and what action may be necessary to maintain the high standards of service to our customers."

Guernsey Water provides secure, reliable water that is safe and good to drink to more than 22,400 households and 3,100 commercial customers.

A copy of the plan summary can be found pdf icon here [1Mb]  

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