Climate change will result in higher water bills for consumers.
That’s the verdict from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME), which suggests the cost of treating and managing water supplies is set to increase as the UK experiences increasingly long and hot summers, along with other extreme weather.
It notes water scarcity in hot months will mean water treatment plants are likely to be required to run at peak flow rates for longer, raising costs associated with maintenance and energy consumption.
More money will need to be spent on increasing the volume of chemicals needed to clean the water faster and on increasingly fixing leaks to stop valuable resources draining away into the ground.
The issue of global warming can also result in floods, particularly following long, dry periods – the report warns more investment is needed to bolster drainage systems in urban areas.
The IME has called on all major UK cities to research and publish their future water infrastructure requirements and says this can help inform how new-build homes and business properties should be designed and built with extreme weather resilience in mind.
It also stresses the government should run a public awareness campaign on the value of water and the potential consequences of the changing climate, while urging the water industry to produce a water infrastructure sustainability plan able to ensure supply outstrips demand into the future.