The Island’s water resources are stretched. Environment Agency carefully balances demands for water and the needs of the environment by licencing abstraction. However, demand on the Island is greater than the ground and rivers can supply, and water has to be piped across from the mainland.
Water is abstracted from the Island’s rivers and groundwater for a range of uses including public water supply, agriculture and industry. Conditions may be attached to the licence to protect the rights of existing users and to ensure that the water environment, such as river flows and wetlands, are not unacceptably affected.
The major aquifers on the Island are the Chalk, the Upper Greensand and the Lower Greensand. Abstractions for public water supply are from the two largest rivers, The Eastern Yar and the Medina.
Demand for public water supply is the greatest stress on water resources with 86% of all licenced groundwater abstraction for public supply. Nearly 57% of surface water abstraction is also for public supply. A cross- Solent main pumps water from Testwood Reservoir in Hampshire to augment the Island’s supply.
Water is also moved around the Island by Southern Water, including a scheme which transfers groundwater from the Lower Greensand and transfers it to the Medina. Water is then transferred from the Medina to the Eastern Yar to allow abstraction at Sandown.
Water metering helped reduce the Island’s demand for water, but there is still a need to be water efficient. You can find some ideas on this via the links below: