AUTHORITIES are keeping caps in place for high users of water for the time being as they struggle to handle a higher demand than usual for the essential resource.

The Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) ordered the restrictions during a Friday meeting that found water levels in Rock reservoirs had not reached a safe level for unlimited water use.

Freshwater reserves were crippled by a fire in the Upper Rock which knocked out power and saltwater supply to the Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants that normally create freshwater on the Rock.

In this latest SCG briefing, AquaGib informed that ‘stock levels have increased’ since Wednesday.

A temporary RO unit brought in from Italy has helped this rise in water stocks, running alongside all four permanent RO water plants at Government Cottage.

But the Gibraltar Government said that ‘the desired amount required before being able to safely begin the relaxation of restrictions for high consumers has not yet been reached.’

In fact, the authorities have seen a rebound in water use that has not helped the situation.

“The Government has been informed that recent consumption has been higher than expected and is comparably higher for this time of year,” the government said in a statement.

“As a result, the Government would like to take this opportunity to remind the public of the need to be as conservative as possible with the use of potable water.”

It is continuing the supply of non-potable water brought onto the Rock by barge from Spain.

Residents can pick up their water for gardening or cleaning but not for drinking, therefore taking off the pressure of the freshwater system.

The non-potable water can be picked up from Morrison’s car park, Mid-Harbours Industrial Park and local marinas, where it is used to wash down boats.

The government plans a new meeting for Monday morning where it will look at how the weekend has gone.

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