Water Shortages

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Primrose
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Water Shortages

Postby Primrose » Mon May 08, 2017 11:02 am

I see Thames Water, our water supply company are asking users to be careful with water because of the drought which is already making itself felt in parts of the country. I was feeling slightly guilty when I was out with the hose yesterday, but what are you supposed to do when you spend hours of work sowing and planting food to eat? Just let stuff die on you? My strawberries are in full flower and the soil in which they are growing is as dry as dust. Should I honestly let a whole year's crop go to waste?

I will sacrifice flowers if necessary, apart from any rare specimens I value and wish to keep going, but letting food crops die through lack of water is a different matter for me. I'll be saving our lawn clippings this summer as valuable moisture saving mulch rather than putting them on the compost heap, and mixing moisture retaining crystals into the compost in my patio pots to reduce watering but wonder what else I can practically do, apart from watering at the best time of day to reduce evaporation?

Alas we're not blessed with moisture retaining soil here, so water is a big issue. I dug up my remaining Swiss Chard plants yesterday which were going to seed. The roots had gone so deep it was like trying to dig up a hedge and I was shocked how dry the soil was quite deep down. We're going to need quite a soaking to rectify that.
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Pa Snip
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby Pa Snip » Mon May 08, 2017 11:30 am

Sadly I feel you are right, it will take time to rectify.
Biggest concern is that we are only just at the beginning of the season. We will be in big trouble if it continues.
In last couple of weeks when some were saying about it raining hard I was out on the plot in shirt sleeves. we got a few spits as a threat and nothing more. we all "Kept Calm and Carried On"
I might have even used some water to make a brew

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Geoff
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby Geoff » Mon May 08, 2017 12:07 pm

My ground is drying rapidly and I am watering a lot but I must be living off reserves as well. March 150.6mm, April 12.2mm, May to date 0.
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Primrose
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby Primrose » Mon May 08, 2017 12:20 pm

:x I think I'll have to resort to keeping a couple of empty buckets outside my kitchen door for my waste water when preparing vegetables etc. We have a very bad habit of rinsing out out morning coffee or afternoon tea mugs under running water and putting them On the draining board instead of putting them in the dishwasher and using fresh mugs next time. We wouldn't be doing that if we were on a water meter. I suspect the drought will bring forward the compulsory use of meters. Habits will have to change! :( We are economical with fuel in our household but water has somehow been regarded as an endlessly free resource which falls from the sky, which of course it definitely isn't when we look at our water rate bills!
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robo
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby robo » Mon May 08, 2017 12:40 pm

There is no reason to be short of water it's more a shortage of investment ,parts of the country have only just got over the flooding from the winter before this one if we built more reservoirs or a couple of desalination plants the problem would be solved
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby tigerburnie » Mon May 08, 2017 2:33 pm

I tend to use watering cans rather than a hose, I use the hose to attach to the pressure washer to wash my car(which hasn't been used this year yet as I got a free valet when it was serviced).
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Colin2016
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby Colin2016 » Mon May 08, 2017 2:35 pm

We are an island surrounded by water and there’s a water shortage.

I’m sure if it was so serious that the water companies started to loose money they would find a solution on how to use the water around us.
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby oldherbaceous » Mon May 08, 2017 3:18 pm

It doesn't seem many months ago, the environment agencies were struggling to rid of the wet stuff.....
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Primrose
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby Primrose » Mon May 08, 2017 5:08 pm

I suspect with some of the utility companies now in foreign ownership profits rather than investments in new facilities like reservoirs may be an over-riding issue but with a warning a week ago that climate change is going to change the way we garden and the type of plants we grow it seems to me that we are not adequately investing in infrastructure for the long term while we still have time to do something about it. I guess it all boils down to money. And of course we are still building the same old traditional houses on flood plains rather than building them on stilts, and still not building in rainwater collection points in roofs of new houses for functions like toilet flushing.
And as Colin has pointed out, we are an island surrounded by water. As a priority I would have thought that being able to harvest this facility on our doorsteps ought to have been a priority. With a growing population basic facilities like energy and water supply should have an important place in our infra structure planning.
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Geoff
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby Geoff » Mon May 08, 2017 6:07 pm

There is one likely looking new technology http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/ne ... ing-water/
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Mon May 08, 2017 6:19 pm

There was something on the farming programme that a lot of farms who have thought about installing their own reservoirs have been put off by all the added costs and length of time it takes for the environmental surveys etc.

I've got nine water butt's off various huts and greenhouses and usually use those to water outdoors, but I use mains water in the greenhouse so I don't cause damping off of the seedlings. I think I've already emptied three of the butt's.
Last edited by PLUMPUDDING on Mon May 08, 2017 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby Monika » Mon May 08, 2017 6:53 pm

We have been watering our vegetables and also flowers grown in pots, the rest will have fend for themselves.

One small trick: when preparing vegetables for cooking, I do so in a large metal colander sitting in a washing up bowl with water, so when I have finished, I just lift out the colander with the plant debris for the compost heap and pour the water from the bowl onto needy plants. Every little helps ......
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Mon May 08, 2017 7:01 pm

I can remember during the drought of 1976 we used the old plastic baby bath and alsorts of other containers to collect the grey water from the kitchen sink and the bathroom for the plants.
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Primrose
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby Primrose » Mon May 08, 2017 7:07 pm

I've read that apparently putting disposable nappies in the the bottom of a hanging basket on top of the basket liner, or putting them at the base of patio pots is good way of retaining moisture. They're apparently quite cheap in pound shops and they work more effectively than water retention crystalss. I imagine they decompose over the course of the season.
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Re: Water Shortages

Postby tigerburnie » Mon May 08, 2017 7:09 pm

I lived briefly in Jersey in the early 1970's, they had de-salination plants then so it's not new technology.
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