May 24, 2018

Environment Agency Warns of Water Supply Shortages in England by 2050

The agency claims population growth and climate change will contribute to supply pressures

New report claims England will face major water scarcity issues by 2050

A new report released by England’s Environment Agency claims that the country will face significant water shortages by the year 2050 if rapid action is not taken to curb increasing water demands, according to BBC. The report cites a growing population and effects of climate change as main causes of the potential supply shortages.

The report marks the first major report on water resources throughout England, and also claims that leakage causes the country to lose enough water to supply 20 million people every day. It is suggested that citizens formulate personal water targets in order to help ease the stress on the nation’s water supply.

Approximately 9,500 billion litres of freshwater were taken from the country’s various water bodies in the year 2016 alone, of which 55% was allocated to public water companies, while 27% went to the electricity supply industry.

Another major issue outlined by the agency involves the sustainability of groundwater bodies as viable sources for the water supply, claiming only 28% are currently at a sustainable level, while only 18% of surface waters are at a sustainable level.

“It’s actually everyone’s issue,” said Michael Roberts of Water UK. “In the home we have to do our bit and as companies we have to do our bit, but the good news is that domestic consumption has been coming down for the last decade, and in terms of leakage, we are leaking a third less than we did 30 years ago, but there is a heck of a lot more to do.”

While the report strongly emphasizes awareness of water consumption for all citizens, it emphasizes that the big questions for the future fall under the issues of population growth and climate change. Increased temperatures will alter the groundwater supply as it affects the amount of rainfall in any given region. England’s population is also expected to increase to 58.5 million by 2026, and mainly in regions where the water supply is already strained.

Despite the many warnings, the report also suggests that further investment in nuclear power and renewable energy sources will inevitably lead to lower abstraction rates and water consumption by 2050.