The plant, at La Rosière between La Moye Prison and Corbière, came into service for the first time in seven years at the end of November when very low rainfall in the summer and autumn reduced supplies in the Island’s reservoirs to 46 per cent.
Jersey Water chief executive Helier Smith said that with overall capacity now at 62 per cent, and more rain forecast for the coming weeks, the desalination plant had been turned off.
‘Water levels have gone up significantly since we resorted to using the desalination plant and we have had quite a lot of rainfall,’ he said. It costs £5,000 a day to run the desalination plant, which uses a reverse osmosis process to remove salt from seawater and pump it to Val de la Mare for further dilution and into the raw-water system. The plant can produce 10.8 million litres a day. The average daily consumption in winter is 18 million litres.
Mr Smith added that the company would review the situation in the new year, but he did not rule out having to use the plant again.
‘The short-term forecast from Jersey Met is for showers in the next couple of weeks, but the long-range forecast we get is suggesting that the weather is going to be dry up to the end of February and that March could be wetter than usual,’ he said.