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England to run out of water within 25 years, expert warns

England is set to face “jaws of death”. The head of the Environment Agency, James Bevan, warns the country that it is facing an “existential threat” due to the impact of climate change combined with the growing demand for water.

The future looks bleak for our water supply unless action is taken now.  He wants to see wasting water as socially unacceptable as “blowing smoke in a baby’s face” or “throwing plastic bags into the sea.” 

Climate change is a major concern, it brings hotter and drier summers each year with an increasing risk of droughts and unpredictable rainfall, leading to more water shortages.

Guy Wallbanks, of York and Ryedal Friends of Earth, said: “If we want to reduce the risk of future water shortages, we need to take climate change seriously.”

“We may no longer be able to rely on sufficient rainfall to refill our reservoirs.”

An official report,  by the Environment Agency, found that a third of wasted water is lost due to leakage or waste; this is enough water to meet the needs of 20 million people in a day. 

The regulator Ofwat has set a requirement for water companies to cut leakage by at least 15% by 2020. Yorkshire Water alone has set the ambitious goal of cutting 40% by 2025.

Paul Carter, from Yorkshire Water, says:

“We have a 25-year water resources management plan in place that helps us plan for the future. There’s a lot of work going on to ensure we have enough water and a lot of the focus is on driving down demand.”

“We’re working in partnership with the Environment Agency and we’ll shortly be launching a new joint campaign aimed at reducing water use.”

The population is expected to rise from 67 to 75 million by 2050, with the average person’s daily water use of 140 litres a day, the demand for water is expected to surge. But, with more efficient uses of water throughout the household, daily water use could be cut by 40 litres within the next 20 years.    

Here’s how you can drive down the demand in your household, by conserving water:

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