Peak in water consumption, but supplies not at risk

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Since the start of the heat wave, the daily water consumption in our country has risen to the highest level ever recorded. In some regions, consumption has increased by more than 40 percent. Nevertheless, the supply does not seem to be compromised, although a local pressure loss cannot be ruled out.

This is reported by AquaFlanders, the federation of water companies and sewage managers. Friday and Saturday consumption was almost 1.4 million cubic meters, which is unseen. ‘At the Flemish level, we noted an increase of more than 20 percent in recent days compared to the average consumption for this period of the year,’ it says in a statement. ‘There are strong regional differences. For example, we saw a large peak especially on the coast and in the Province of Antwerp. There, water consumption increased by more than 40 percent. ‘

General manager of AquaFlanders Carl Heyrman points out that this is the highest daily consumption ever measured, although the current method of measurement dates back to the beginning of 2018.

Since the heat wave is not over yet, AquaFlanders expects consumption to remain much higher than normal in the coming days. Yet it does not fear a shortage of drinking water. If many people use water at the same time in a particular region, the maximum capacity could be exceeded. In that case, water would remain available, but the pressure could decrease temporarily.

The Netherlands

At our northern neighbors, the water companies warned yesterday that the water pressure would drop. They therefore called on the Dutch to reduce or postpone consumption. However, according to Heyrman, the situation here is ‘not so dire’.

According to Heyrman, we do not have to fear a scenario such as during the Ascension weekend, when no more water came out of the tap in the Overijse area. “That had to do with calamities,” says the general manager. At that time there were problems in a production center in Huldenberg, which combined with high consumption caused problems.

Rainwater

AquaFlanders does call for conscious use of tap water. ‘We have to be sensible with tap water all year round, and not just in the summer,’ says Heyrman. ‘We recommend not to use tap water for applications that do not require the quality of drinking water, such as spraying our lawns or washing our vehicles. Rainwater is a perfect alternative for this, or water that you collect and reuse in the kitchen or bathroom. ‘

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