Everyone needs water to survive; it is one of the world’s most critical resources. However, climate change is affecting water supplies across the world.
We can all help to save water by making small changes in our daily lives. These changes will not only make a difference to water stocks and the environment, but they could also save you money.
Climate change in the Isle of Man
The Isle of Man’s climate has become warmer by 0.9oC over the past 73 years, and this trend is likely to continue. The senior meteorological officer at Ronaldsway, Adrian Cowin said, “It’s likely that we’ll see more extreme weather events, more often, in the next few decades as well as the impacts of rising sea levels on coastal communities and infrastructure. Equally, there’s an increased risk of a few more periods of drought and/or summer heatwaves, or winter ‘cold snaps’, as occasional high pressure ‘blocks’ become established either over the Atlantic or the British Isles or continental Europe.”
According to the Met Office, this year’s latest outlook for April to June is indicating warmer temperatures and near-normal rainfall.
Find out more about the impact of the climate change on the Isle of Man in this video.
Our clean water supply
Our reservoirs ultimately provide clean drinking water that we all rely on and we should ensure that we make every drop count.
However, during the summer months, the warmer weather impacts our reservoir levels, and at the same time, people will naturally demand more water. As we are fully dependent on our water stocks here on the Island, our drinking water supply is even more precious.
Our wildlife need water to thrive
Water is not only just for us. Our wildlife relies on water too, and they don’t only use it for drinking. Our natural aquatic environments are teeming with life, from insects and other invertebrates to a myriad of fish species.
Amphibians like newts and frogs use water as shelter and breeding grounds. All sorts of insects live and breed in water, which in turn feed some of our favourite birds and bats. Butterflies get valuable minerals and salts from slightly muddy water, and birds also use water to bathe and remove parasites. Find out more about the importance of water for wildlife on the Manx Wildlife Trust website.
Reducing our water use helps Manx rivers flowing, which in turn enables our wildlife ecosystem to flourish.
Saving water also saves energy
Most of the time, the water we use at home is heated, for example when we use in the shower or for cleaning. Being more conscious of how we use water daily, can help to reduce not only our water usage but energy bills too. This will also reduce our carbon emissions from heating.
In addition, there is a lot of work that goes behind the scenes to ensure clean water reaches our homes. A lot of energy is required to collect, treat, store and distribute water from reservoirs to all the homes and businesses across the Island. By being more efficient in our daily use of water, we can also conserve energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Find out more about how clean water is treated and distributed to our homes on the Manx Utilities website.
You can help to save water
There are a lot of ways to make wise water choices. Here are some tips on how you can use water wisely at home, in the garden and in general.
In the bathroom
- Take short showers rather than a bath; this saves around 68 litres per shower
- Use the short flush if you have a dual-flush cistern.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. You can save up to 9 litres a minute!
In the kitchen
- Use a dishwasher if you have one. Make sure you only run it when full and use the eco wash cycle if available.
- Fill a bottle and refrigerate for cool drinking water throughout the day, rather than running water to make it cold for drinking.
In the garden
- Use a water butt/containers to collect rainwater for garden use
- Use a watering can instead of a hosepipe
- Repair leaky taps and loos. A leaky loo could waste up to 400 litres (over 4 baths) of water per hour and a dripping tap wastes at least 5.5 litres of water a year!
- If you see a leak in the streets/pavements, please report them to Manx Utilities.
Find out other useful tips on how you can use water wisely on the Manx Utilities website.