The drought in the UK is nowhere near yet and most parts of the country are going to be in a severe drought this year, according to the Environment Agency. The National Farmers Union is already predicting that this summer is going to be particularly bad. But just how bad? This severe period of prolonged dry weather in summer doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon, so how should you prepare? We found out what other people are doing, talked to the water management experts and here’s what we’ve found out for you.
How to use spring weather for collecting water?
During springtime, you can collect rainwater by using a tarp and buckets, or even big black bin bags. There are different ways of collecting water from your rooftop, such as installing specific tanks and pumps around the gutters of your house or simply collecting water in any kind of outside container, like an old bathtub, old wheelie bin, etc. Collecting rainwater is an effective way to get prepared for future drier days while also reducing water bills at home and conserving energy at workplaces, such as offices or shopping malls. It’s advised to start collecting water with plastic containers right now, so that we won’t run out during summers.
Preparing your garden for the upcoming hot weather
It’s important to prepare your garden for hot weather so it’s able to take advantage of any rain that falls before it becomes scorching, as well as continue to provide you with delicious fruits and vegetables or eye-pleasing florals. How do you get ready? It’s easy to spot preparation opportunities on smaller plants that can be stored under the foil, where they create their own ecosystem through the exchange of oxygen and CO2, but what about larger trees? The best advice for those who want greener gardens all year long is to follow these five steps:
- Cut back
- Control pests
Overgrown shrubs and trees will hold more water than others, making them ideal locations for collecting rainfall. Not only will they need fewer supplemental waterings throughout warm months, they’ll also give you shade come summertime!
Hosepipe ban – how it works
The hosepipe ban in England and Wales means you are not allowed to use a hosepipe or any other device powered by an internal combustion engine to water your garden, wash your car or clean your driveway and paths. There are exceptions to when you can use water: for example if you live in Northern Ireland you will still be able to use your hose as normal as there is no ban in place there.
Many people have been left wondering what they need to do when they cannot turn on their sprinklers and it has caused much confusion. A hosepipe ban restricts how businesses and private households can use drinking water supplied by water companies for non-essential purposes. This includes watering down hard surfaces such as driveways, washing cars with a power washer or using spray hoses in gardens and parks. If you are in breach of the hose ban regulation, you might get fined by your local council to up to £1000. Hence, it is important to check with your local council what is classified as non-essential use of water in your specific area.
Saving your garden when it’s already late
Don’t panic! You can still manage to somewhat prep your garden for prolonged drought, but it won’t be easy. If it’s probably too late for planting in certain areas of your garden, you should now focus on watering properly and taking special care of any flowering plants such as roses or fruit trees, whenever the hose ban is on hold. It’s also still worth getting any containers you might have outside whenever there’s a bit of rain. The worst-case scenario would be losing already existing plants, but if you give them even a spoonful of water a day, there’s still hope!
Preparing your home:
To prepare your home for summer, you should firstly check all your appliances are working to their full capacity and that any leaks have been fixed. If not, get them fixed before it’s too late! Ensure all windows and doors are in good repair and weather-proofed so they can withstand any stormy weather.
Save water by doing less washing:
It’s no secret that taking shorter showers and not overloading washing machines reduces your water use – but some people, especially those with larger families, may find it difficult to keep up with laundry during a drought. Luckily, there are several other ways to save water around your home or in the office. You can also check out our page on saving water when you’re washing clothes and learn how you can reduce monthly bills by doing less laundry altogether!