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Reservoirs are full – but the long-range forecast is for dry weather

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RESERVOIRS are 95% full and the Island is in a ‘comfortable’ position despite the long spell of dry weather, Jersey Water has said.

Val de la Mare Reservoir

But Mark Bowden, the company’s asset manager, added that if the dry weather continued through the coming months, the company might be forced to switch on the desalination plant towards the end of the summer.

The Island would have entered a period of absolute meteorological drought – where 15 days pass with less than 0.2mm of rainfall being recorded – but 0.2mm was recorded at the Maison St Louis Observatory on Saturday morning.

‘Three months ago we would have all been bemoaning the very wet winter we had, but that has left us in a really strong position. That has meant the stream flows have been very strong and we are currently at 95% full,’ Mr Bowden said.

‘We have no immediate concerns but we always have a daily, weekly and monthly review of the situation and look at the trends in demand.’

He added that the company would not have to make any difficult decisions yet, but could be forced to if current long-term forecasts for dry and sunny weather proved correct.

‘The decision on whether to run the desalination plant or put a hosepipe ban in place, or other water restrictions, is run on a control-curve basis.

‘If it continues to be dry, then it is likely we will have to supplement our resources. It is just about at what stage we make those decisions. We certainly would not be looking at running it [the desalination plant] probably before August – that is when we would start looking at making a decision if it continues to be dry. But the long-term forecast is dry.’

Jersey Met is forecasting more dry, sunny and warm conditions for at least the next five days, with temperatures climbing to between 23°C and 25°C.

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The UK Met Office, which issues 30-day forecasts for the British Isles on its website, says the weather may become more unsettled during the early part of June, but that the worst of the conditions would be in the north.

It says the weather may then improve during the period from 11 to 25 June.

The forecast states: ‘Through mid to late June, overall drier and warmer-than-average weather looks to be more favourable in the south than wetter and cooler conditions. Northern parts, however, are likely to see temperatures sticking around average for the time of year.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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