Taps May Run Dry
Despite a number of recent ‘wettest-on-record’ months, the Environment Agency believes the UK is in serious risk of running out of water within the next 20 years. The main problem is its growing population, forecasted to rise by 12 million over this period to reach in excess of 80 million. The situation is exacerbated by climate change and increased housebuilding.
According to the agency the average person uses 150 litres of water each day. Each time a toilet is flushed between six and nine litres of water disappears down the pan, while taking a bath will use around 80 litres.
Although showering uses less water each time – between 30-60 litres – it is the single biggest user of water per household, totalling across the nation some 840 billion litres each year.
High volumes of water are used for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, cleaning and watering the garden. The most-thirsty domestic appliances are washing machines and dishwashers.
This matter is made a whole lot worse by the fact that over a fifth of the total supply simply seeps away through ageing pipes before it enters the home.
Water supply companies attempting to meet an increasing demand are extracting unsustainable amounts of water from rivers and springs. The resulting threats to wildlife and deteriorating landscapes have seen the formation of many community groups set up to protect much-loved local environments.
So, while people become more aware of unnecessary water usage at home, they are also taking-action against over-extraction and wastage of this precious resource in other ways too, this is even beginning to influence the retail products that they choose to buy.
Photo: Unsplash (appropriately!).