Helier Smith, the chief executive of Jersey Water, said that harvesting water and recycling it for drinking was one of several options that could be looked at to ensure future demand is met.
‘One option which would be interesting to look at would be the reuse and recycling of water in the Island,’ he said.
‘In Jersey, once the [waste] water goes out at Bellozanne it goes into the sea, whereas Singapore, for example, recycles a huge proportion of the water that it uses.
‘In Singapore it’s called “NEWater” – it goes through waste-water treatment works and [uses ultraviolet technology] to make it safe.’
He added that Jersey Water – which is part-owned by the States but operates as a separate entity and has its own board – last created a water resources management plan in 2010, but he said that an update was in the pipeline.
‘As a company we will be forecasting the likely demand for water over the next 25-year period, taking into account things like climate change, population growth and changes in demographics to try to [work out] whether the Island has sufficient water resources to meet the demand for water over that period,’ he explained.
‘We last undertook that work in 2010 and concluded we needed to provide additional water resources or reduce demand – so we did both, partly by implementing the Islandwide metering programme.’
Historically, Islanders used to pay for water according to a fixed rate based on the rateable value of their property. But in recent years Jersey Water has implemented a metering scheme, installing meters for 94 per cent of its customers. Every home with a meter is charged for the water they use, not an amount determined by the parish.
‘The metering scheme has been hugely successful and I think the vast majority of our customers have seen a reduction in their water bills,’ he said.
That appears to have been reflected in the findings of Jersey Water’s first customer satisfaction survey, which was conducted in 2017 with the help of the Institute of Customer Service in the UK.
Consumers were invited to take part on Jersey Water’s website and questions covered topics such as quality and efficiency, ease of doing business and complaint handling.
And Mr Smith has revealed that Jersey Water’s customer satisfaction score is 83.2 per cent.
‘The ICS surveyed around 400 people from our customer base and we have an overall customer satisfaction score of 83.2 per cent,’ he added.
‘Utility companies in the UK generally scored 75 per cent in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index so we’re very proud of our score.’