Region’s water supply ‘in good position’ despite fears over growing demand

Anglian Water says it is well placed despite fears over the future of the nation's water supply. Pic

Anglian Water says it is well placed despite fears over the future of the nation's water supply. Picture: Anglian Water - Credit: Anglian Water

Rivers and wildlife could be left without sufficient water unless action is taken to reduce water use and wastage, according to an Environment Agency report.

The State of the Environment: Water Resources report says that climate change and demand from a growing population in England are the biggest pressures on the availability of water.

Without action to increase supply, reduce demand and cut down on wastage, the report predicts that many areas in England could see significant supply deficits by 2050 – particularly in the south east.

However, Anglian Water, which manages supplies in Cambridgeshire, has said that it is in a better position now than it was 30 years ago, despite serving 34 per cent more homes.

Commenting on the Environment Agency’s report about water resources, Emma Staples, from Anglian Water, said: “We get much less rain in this region compared to the rest of the UK, which is why we have been determined to cut leakage for a long time.

“We’re already the best in the industry; our leakage is half that of the rest of the UK and we’re way ahead of our Ofwat targets – but we’re not sitting still. We plan to invest millions of pounds more to reduce leakage even further and we’re exploring innovative technologies, like drones and advanced sound detectors, to do that.

“Our ambitious draft water resources management plan sets out how we make the best use of the water we already have, and the changes we need to make to help guard against the impacts of severe droughts and climate change in the future.”

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The report also highlights unsustainable levels of water abstraction, leakage from water companies – currently estimated at three billion litres per day – and demand from industry and the public as three of the issues to tackle in order to protect the water environment.

Emma Howard Boyd, chairman of the Environment Agency said: “We need to change our attitudes to water use. It is the most fundamental thing needed to ensure a healthy environment but we are taking too much of it and have to work together to manage this precious resource.

“Industry must innovate and change behaviours in order to reduce demand and cut down on wastage – and we all have a duty to use water more wisely at home.

“With demand on the rise, water companies must invest more in infrastructure to address leakage instead of relying on abstraction and the natural environment to make up this shortfall.”