The BBC today reported the warning from the head of the Environment Agency that within 25 years England will not have enough water to meet demand.

The impact of climate change, combined with population growth, means the country is facing an “existential threat”, Sir James Bevan told the Waterwise Conference in London. “We all need to use less water and use it more efficiently”.

Sir James told the conference that, in around 20 to 25 years, England would reach the “jaws of death – the point at which, unless we take action to change things, we will not have enough water to supply our needs”.

Alongside action being taken by the government, water companies and regulators, Sir James wants the public to use less water, and use it more efficiently. Currently, people in England use an average of 140 litres of water a day. Sir James is calling on people to cut their usage to 100 litres – the target set by Waterwise, which campaigns for water efficiency.

“In the last two years we’ve changed behaviour on plastic. 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.”

Sir James’ list of ‘things we can all do’

  • Get a low-flush toilet
  • Take short showers, not deep baths
  • Use the most efficient shower-head
  • Get a water-efficient washing machine
  • Don’t use your dishwasher until it’s full
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
  • Don’t water your lawn (it will survive)

“If by 2050 we reduced per capita consumption to 100 litres a day, leakage by 50%, and did nothing else, it would provide enough water for an additional 20 million people without taking any more from the environment,” Sir James said.

For the full article visit bbc.co.uk. Image credit: BBC news: “Low water levels at Wayoh Reservoir near Bolton in the UK heatwave in July 2018”.