BRITAIN ‘A DESERT’ BY 2044
CLIMATE change and a rising population mean that England is facing the ‘jaws of death’, where demand for water could surpass the supply available in the next 25 years.
Sir James Bevan, 59, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said the UK could have a water shortage by 2044.
Speaking before the Waterwise conference in London, he added that water leakage was also to blame for the loss of water in the UK.
In England and Wales, a third of water comes from aquifers, underground sources, with this figure being at six per cent for Northern Ireland and three per cent for Scotland.
The rest comes from reservoirs, lakes and rivers.
Bevan said: “We need water wastage to be as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby or throwing your plastic bags into the sea.”
Outlining potential methods of avoiding the disaster, Bevan said that people need to cut daily water use by a third, from 140 litres to 100 litres, over the next 20 years.
While water companies need to to cut down leakage from their pipes by 50 per cent.
Currently, the UK loses more than three billion litres of water a year to leakage, be it individual or from water companies.
Bevan highlighted the need for more reservoirs, more desalination plants and more transfers of water across the UK.
The building of new mega-reservoirs is seen as controversial, but Bevan believes it is the ‘right thing to do’.
By 2040, summers are expected to be hotter than ever, with more than half seeing temperatures higher than the 2003 heatwave.
WATER WORRY: We could soon go short