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Exclusive: Dry weather means Jersey Water will start desalination plant next week

An extended period of dry weather and lack of rainfall means that the Jersey's reservoirs are at around 60% storage. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey Water have confirmed that they will be turning on the desalination plant in the next week.

Jersey's reservoirs have an estimated supply of 79 days remaining* due to the summer's dry weather. So far this month we have had 14mm of rainfall - below the expected average.

An extended period of dry weather and lack of rainfall means that Jersey's reservoirs are at around 60% storage.

Jersey Water say islanders are drawing around 20 million litres a day, but the reservoirs are not able to replenish the same amount, and are realistically losing 10 million litres of water every day.

As the dry weather is expected to continue over the coming weeks with minimal rainfall, they have decided to start their desalination plant for the second time this year to help supplement supplies.

Average rainfall is down 25% since April 2018 which equates to roughly 350mm of rain over an 18-month period.

As a result we are witnessing a reduction in groundwater, which is used by islanders who rely on boreholes for their water supply. It also means that less water is making its way into streams, which feed the island's reservoirs.

Jersey Met expects that the period of low rainfall will continue and meteorologists have been working alongside Jersey Water and the government to monitor the situation.

* This figure is hypothetical as it is the estimated number of days if there was no more water filtering into the reservoirs (which there will be, as streams continue to flow at low levels and there is rainfall due this weekend).

  • WATCH: Sophia Bird speaks to Jersey Met and Jersey Water about the shortages facing Jersey.

Guernsey are in a more resilient position as their raw water storage is greater.