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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June, 2005, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
North water rationing 'unlikely'
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Water customers are warned to conserve supplies
Water users in the north-east of England have been reassured supplies should not have to be rationed despite fears of a prolonged heatwave.

The comments, from Northumbrian Water, come as parts of the South East face hosepipe bans.

The region relies in part on the giant Kielder reservoir in Northumberland, which holds 44 billion gallons of water and is 90% full at the moment.

However, customers are still being urged to conserve supplies.

Warnings of water rationing in the south came after usage soared by 20% across Surrey and Sussex during the weekend heatwave. North Sussex is currently covered by a hosepipe ban.

Largest lake

Much of the north has been hit by short, intense spells of rain which caused flash flooding.

But experts said sustained rainfall is needed to maintain long-term domestic supplies and ensure enough for agriculture.

Northumbrian Water said it still wants customers to conserve supplies and is providing free devices called save-a-flush, which are placed in bathroom cisterns to conserve water.

Water from Kielder Reservoir has been available to North East homes since May 1982, when the lake was formally opened by the Queen.

The 169m project involved the damning and flooding a large part of the Kielder Valley, to create the largest man-made lake in western Europe.




SEE ALSO:
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10 Jun 05 |  Southern Counties
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High and dry
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