Parts of the south and south-east of England will run out of water within the next 20 years if more concerted action is not taken now.
That’s according to a new study from the National Audit Office, which estimates the demand for water in England will exceed supply by between 1.1 billion and 3.1 billion litres per day by the 2050s, depending on the extent of climate change and population growth.
Total water supply is forecast to decrease by 7% by 2045 as a result of climate change and the study warns there is a need to reduce abstraction to restore sustainability – abstaction refers to the practice of extracting water from natural sources for various uses, such as drinking or irrigation.
Researchers claim 1.08 billion litres per day of supply will be lost by 2045 due to climate change.
The report, which suggests nearly three billion litres of water, making up 20% of the total supply, are currently lost through leakage each day, suggests “reducing demand is essential to prevent water shortages as water companies are running out of low-cost options for increasing water supply.”
It also notes: “water companies have not made progress on tackling leakage and reducing water consumption has stalled over the past five years.”