A new report has suggested that pressure on the supply and demand of water in the north of England will become more acute in the next 25 years.
The paper, from think tank IPPR North, calls on politicians in the region to take action now or risk Northern Powerhouse projects failing as a result. But effective water management in the north-west could see it supply water to other parts of the country through a water trading scheme, while the north-east is expected to see a water surplus for several decades
Yorkshire and the Humber was found to face the greatest pressure on water supply over the long term and without a reduction in usage among businesses and households alike demand could start outstripping supply by 2035
In all, five key factors were identified as likely to increase pressure on water supply. Climate change came top of the list, with all parts of the north expected to see big drops in rainfall and water flow. Public attitudes to water was also found to be problematic, with the majority of people still unaware that they need to use water more responsibly.
Population growth is another area of concern, offsetting some of the gains achieved by more efficient water usage. Growing demand for energy is also a factor, including plans to drive down net carbon emissions through carbon capture and storage (which is particularly water intensive).
Lastly, water companies and their ability to deliver on water management plans over the next 25 years could increase pressure on supply, with current plans requiring an “unprecedented increase” in their efforts to tackle and reduce water leaks.
“In the face of climate breakdown, none of us can afford to take water for granted, and this is as true in the North as it is elsewhere in the country. This is a shared problem that requires shared solutions.
“Water companies need to deliver on their plans to dramatically reduce leakages and households, businesses and political leaders all need to treat water much more responsibly in future,” report author and research fellow Jack Hunter said.
Businesses keen to boost their green credentials may want to consider switching water supplier to find a company that has robust environmental policies and works to safeguard our water resources.
Sadly, millions of litres of water is lost each day through leaks in our pipe networks around the country and if this is a concern for you and your company, choosing a supplier with a good track record of maintenance and repair could be a good move.
Thanks to deregulation of the English retail water market back in 2017, companies can now choose their own water supplier – and save themselves money on their water bills as a result.