Today, (Wednesday 25 March) the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report looking at the additional pressures that climate change and population growth are likely to place on our public water supply.
The report outlines how, if we do not take swift action to reduce water demand and to improve our water infrastructure, some areas of England such as the South East could face water shortages in the future.
In order to address these future challenges, the Environment Agency has been working with Defra and the water industry to publish a long term plan for ensuring that there is enough water for both people and the environment in the future.
The plan, entitled the National Framework for Water Resources, looks to ease the pressure on our future water supplies by:
- Reducing demand to an average of 110 litres per person per day by 2050
- Improving water efficiency across all sectors
- Working with water companies to halve leakage rates by 2050
- Developing new supplies such as reservoirs, water re-use schemes and desalination plants
- Making it easier to move water to where it’s needed through regional water transfers
- Reducing the use of drought measures that can impact the environment
Responding to the report, a Defra spokesperson said:
“We thank the NAO for this report as an important contribution to our work to meet our future water needs. We recognise that we need to work harder than ever to ensure that we all have enough water in the future and that is why we are already working towards many the report’s recommendations.
“The recently published National Framework for Water Resources sets out a bold vision for bringing together consumers, businesses and industry to safeguard the future of our water resources while ensuring that our natural environment is protected for future generations.”