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NAO report on water demand

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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.

The publication of the report was covered in The Daily Mail, Telegraph, Sun and I news as well as in trade and regional outlets.

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.”

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  1. Comment by William Hughes-Games posted on

    Is anyone actually there. Surly someone would have made a comment to one of my sometimes controversial comments. Is this just an exercise in fobbing off the public and making them think they have a say.

  2. Comment by William Hughes-Games posted on

    There is a simple way to increase the amount of water effectively available for human use but there is a sting in the tail. If these measures are taken and the use of water simply rises to match the new availability of water, we would be are in a worse situation than before these measures were taken. There is no slack left in the system. It is a little like when the exchequer reduces the base interest rate. Once they are down to zero, there is essentially no where else to go to prop up the economy. Negative interest rates have even worse implications.