Public Accounts Committee – review of NAO on water supply – Defra, EA & Ofwat = questioned – also covers Covid at the start – watch the video
Defra ‘There has been further coverage of dry weather over the weekend in the Sunday Times and Daily Star, following the meeting of the National Drought Group chaired by the Environment Agency on Friday (5 June). The coverage looks at figures released by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology indicating that some of the traditionally wettest places in the UK such as the Lake District and Yorkshire have become so dry that many areas are at risk of wildfires.
The National Drought Group, which brings together many key players in the water industry, published a statement following Friday’s meeting. It explains that while extremely wet winter has replenished depleted groundwater aquifers, a period of prolonged hot and dry weather has reduced river flows and dried out soils. This is particularly the case in areas such as north-west England which are more reliant on surface water supplies, making them naturally less resilient to exceptionally low rainfall.
Almost all water companies have seen elevated demand due to both the recent hot, dry weather and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In some cases this has created a challenge for companies to treat and distribute enough water to meet demand. This is expected to continue as more people stay at home over the summer compared to previous years.
The Environment Agency are monitoring the situation closely and working with water companies to encourage the public to make small changes to use less water while also following government guidance around handwashing. In March government introduced the National Framework for Water Resources, setting out what is required to preserve our water supplies and protect the environment for future generations.
Thames Water cuts leakage by 15% in just one year after smart water network upgrades
Round-the clock data from nearly 450,000 smart meters across the capital has helped Thames Water find and repair a record number of leaks, hit its regulatory target and reduce overall leakage from its 20,000 mile network of pipes by 15 per cent in just one year.
Britain’s largest water company has achieved the industry’s biggest reduction in leakage this century.