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Title:Hosepipe bans, water butts and beavers: what can we do to combat drought in Britain?
Date:8/6/2022 3:00:09 AM

Parts of UK are preparing for emergency water measures despite country getting more annual rainfall than rest of Europe

Many parts of southern England and Wales are facing drought conditions and are preparing for emergency water measures, yet the country gets more annual rainfall than anywhere in continental Europe.

The long periods of drizzle Britain is renowned for mean we take water for granted in a way some hotter countries do not. But as the climate gets hotter and we become drier, this will no longer be feasible. So how did we get here and what can politicians, companies and individuals do to mitigate against drought?

Stop leaks

Before we tell you not to run the tap while you brush your teeth and start having two-minute showers, it is important to note that water companies let an astonishing amount of water leak through their creaky, old infrastructure. Recent analysis by the Times found water companies are wasting up to a quarter of their supply in leaks. Campaigners argue that since privatisation a lot of money has gone to shareholders of water companies instead of into improving infrastructure. What’s more, the problem has gone on so long, the leaks have become ever more expensive and complicated to fix.

The industry says it is trying to make a change. Stuart Colville, director of policy at trade body Water UK, said: “[Water] companies are committed to halving leakage by 2050 – building on recent data showing some of the lowest levels of leakage ever – and on supporting customers to do their bit.”

Stop personal wastage

Having said that, Britons do use a lot of water. The average citizen uses significantly more than most Europeans – usually about 150 litres a day per person, compared with 128 in France, 130 in Spain, and 122 in Poland. Only three countries use more per capita: Greece, Bulgaria and Italy, which tops the table at more than 200 litres a day.

Mark Lloyd, CEO of the Rivers Trust, has been...

Organization:Guardian - Climate Change
Date Added:8/6/2022 6:37:04 AM