Water bills may rise as engineers call for help to tackle shortage

Written on:June 7, 2023
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UK's water supplies have reached a "critical" point

Notwithstanding the recent heavy rains, the UK’s water supplies have reached a “critical” point and hence, the country’s water security has made an urgent call to conserve water amid fears of bigger bills.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) said in a report today that water supply is likely to worsen with a growing population and changes to the UK’s rainfall. The report has come just after Thames Water said it could lift hosepipe ban sooner than expected after recent heavy rainfall.

Rating the current water security at four on a scale of one to ten, ICE officials said Britain isn’t doing enough to ensure safe water supplies after a 22 months long drought. In the report ICE has proposed measures like construction of new reservoirs and small scale water storage to conserve water.

The ICE also advocated encouraging households to save water, saying that water consumption in homes can be reduced by about a third. However, people don’t use water carefully because the supply was cheap and unlimited, report claimed. Currently most households pay only £1 per day for unlimited drinking water, which requires a costly treatment process.

In the report, engineers urged the government to introduce a metering system that charges households more for high water use for non-essential activities such as washing the car or watering the garden, adding that “social tariffs” should also be introduced to protect vulnerable customers.

In its report entitled The State of the Nation: Water, the ICE calls on the government to set up a task force that would be charged with drawing up a roadmap by 2014 to help boost water security.

We are a populous nation facing a growing gap between what we can supply and what our water users need. Sadly it’s only when hose-pipe bans are inflicted on us that the public has any glimpse of this reality”, Michael Norton, chairman of the ICE’s water panel, said in a statement.

Flood warnings in regions currently in drought
Drought affects larger parts of England
Hosepipe ban in parts of England, as drought lingers

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