Climate change ‘to set UK’s water costs soaring’

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers says expensive new infrastructure is needed to combat flooding and droughts

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Climate change will lead to the cost of water across the UK increasing.

That’s the prediction from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which says increased flooding and droughts mean water treatment plants will have to run at peak rates for longer, the rate of pipework replacement will need to increase and more urban drainage will be required.

It says these factors mean the costs passed on to billpayers will rise.

The group also suggests more environmentally-intensive chemicals will have to be used to clean larger volumes of water than previously seen.

It adds a new water infrastructure sustainability plan is needed to study the threats of drought and flooding and calls on major cities across the UK to publish research on what their requirements for the future will be.

Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “We need to make people aware of the value of water as a resource.

“Consumers need to understand the challenges of managing water in more extreme environments and the increased costs that water companies will face running treatment plants at higher flow rates as well as reducing leakage.”

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