Water shortage report warning is “very worrying and very stark”
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
The East of England will be short of water by up to 1.6 billion litres per day by the 2050s, a new report has warned.
Water Resource East’s report shows that by the 2050s the additional water requirement for the East of England will be somewhere between 531 and 1,656 megalitres per day.
It means the region will have to find – if current water use practices are not changed – water enough to supply up to 6 million people.
The deficit has been described by Water Resource East’s managing director, Dr Robin Price, as “very worrying and very stark”.
On an average day the region uses 2,311 million litres of water a day.
Around 85 percent is used for public water supply.
Most of the rest is used for spray irrigation, power generation and in the manufacturing and food and drink sectors.
- 1 RideLondon 5 year plan: 900 object to district road closures
- 2 Great Dunmow and High Easter take centre stage as Women's Tour of Britain hits town
- 3 Home county tenant exodus drives up London rents
- 4 Met Office weather: Yellow storm and flood warning for East of England
- 5 High Easter hit magnificent seven after second-half goal blitz
- 6 New Mayors and deputies in Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow
- 7 A giant snail, sporting success and other school news
- 8 From meat in supermarkets to beer in pubs - what is getting more expensive?
- 9 243 Takeley homes granted outline approval despite concerns
- 10 Voting together: Lib Dems and Greens join forces
Water Resources East, one of five regional planning groups operating as part of a National Framework for Water Resources, says Eastern England faces a number of significant risks to its future water supply. These could have a catastrophic impact on the area’s communities, economy and environment if left unchecked.
Dr Price said: “The problem is very worrying and very stark.
“Our modelling now shows that by the 2050s the additional water requirement for the East of England will be somewhere between 531 and 1,656 megalitres per day.
“That is the additional water that will be needed. Two things are terrifying about those numbers.
“The first is the size – 531 megalitres is enough to supply around two million customers. That is an enormous number and the other worrying thing is the gap between those numbers.
“Some of the work we are doing is understanding the future demand for water.
“Whatever, it is staggering and without action the region is going to run short of water by an enormous volume by the 2050s.
“All the headlines like the ‘Jaws of Death’ are true. There is big trouble brewing.”
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “A changing climate and a growing population is putting unprecedented pressures on our water resources.
“Without taking action, we would not have enough water to supply our needs in the future. The Environment Agency is working closely with water companies, the government and water users to protect the environment.
”In the East of England, we have some of the highest levels of personal consumption in the UK: on average, everyone uses 140 litres a day. The independent Waterwise is aiming towards 100 litres a day. We all need to make changes and use water more wisely – every single person has a part to play in this national effort.”