Following last week’s piece about the EA’s convening of the National Drought Group, the National Infrastructure Commission has warned of emergency queues on the streets, without swift and extensive hosepipe ban and compulsory water metering. This follows the driest July in England since 1935.

Reported in the Guardian, “a national hosepipe ban should be implemented as a national priority along with compulsory water metering across the UK by the end of the decade.

That is the key message that infrastructure advisers have given the government as the nation braces itself for a drought that is threatening major disruption to the nation. Failure to act now would leave Britain facing a future of queueing for emergency bottled water “from the back of lorries”.

The government was warned four years ago by the National Infrastructure Committee (NIC) that considerable new investment would have to be made in the nation’s water supply equipment by the 2030s. Although some improvements have been made by water firms, nearly 3billion litres of water is still lost every day.

Plugging these leaks will require an investment of around £20bn, Sir John Armitt, chair of the committee, told the Observer this weekend. Failure to invest now will mean, he added, that more than twice as much will have to be spent on distributing bottled water to UK residents by lorry as increasingly frequent droughts grip the nation.

“You have to pay for it, on e way or another,” he said. “That could be investing in new reservoirs or moving water around the country, as well as stopping leaks.” Water metering is considered by the industry as the best tool for cutting water use – the UK has the highest usage in Europe. It is estimated that water meters have been installed in only about half of households in England and Wales, but these customers use 33 litres a day less than the national average, of 141 litres a day.”


Southern Water became the first firm to bring in a ban last week, for the Isle of Wight and Hampshire, followed by south east water for Kent and Sussex

Visit the Water’s Worth Saving campaign website for tips on saving water.

From Environment Agency

Action taken following dry conditions in Lincs and Northants

The Environment Agency is taking action following prolonged dry conditions in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.

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