The low rainfall that we have seen over the last 6 months in the UK is already taking its toll on water supplies and the Environment Secretary has warned the South East region of England is at extreme risk of drought. 2011 was the 2nd warmest year on record and also the second driest year on record across parts of England. The outlook over the next few months is rain at times, but also dry spells. As we near the spring and summer, many worry that a hose pipe ban is likely to come in to effect throughout the UK to conserve water supplies.
So what does this mean?
The biggest impact of droughts in the UK is the drop in groundwater levels, meaning that the groundwater stores that we rely on to keep our rivers flowing are extremely low. The low levels of groundwater can also have a massive impact on the well being of trees, plants and lawn areas.
A drought summit has been held today (20/02/2012) with the Environment Secretary and the water companies where they declared that in some areas, some rivers and groundwater levels are lower than the drought of 1976. Without substantial rainfall in the coming weeks we could see a hose pipe come in to effect for the summer.The Environment Secretary has called on families to start conserving water. So how can we reduce the amount of water that we use without having a massive impact on our daily routine. Well one of the ways we can prevent the impact of a water shortages in the future is by using irrigation systems.
Irrigation systems are a great way to efficiently distribute water around the garden, with savings of up to 90% compared to the traditional method of using a hosepipe. Think to whenever you use your hosepipe: do you go to the first plant, turn the hose pipe on and release just the right amount of water, then turn the hose back off, move to the next plant, turn it back on and repeat the process? I thought not. Water is wasted by people turning the hose on from the tap and allowing it to flow until they have finished watering every plant.
The other problem with using the traditional method is people generally apply more water than is actually needed, not necessarily going to excess that can damage the plant, but just a bit over the top for there to be wasted water.
Irrigation systems deliver the water to only the plant, and because they can be turned on automatically, can distribute just the right amount needed, preventing wastage. If you would like any help on irrigation systems or any other tips on saving water, then check out these pages: Irrigation System Design