Drought status lifted in parts of the country, water still an issue
11 May 2012Today the Environment Agency lifted the drought status in the west of England, the Midlands and parts of Yorkshire. But water management – and efficiency – should still be on everyone’s mind
The wettest April on record and a soggy May have led the Environment Agency to remove the drought status in some areas. However, groundwater supplies remain low across the country and all of the areas that still have hosepipe bans remain in drought. Even though river flows are high and many reservoirs are recovering, groundwater levels remain exceptionally low in almost half of the sites the EA checked. To meet water needs now and in the future we need to start using water better, and we need to start now.
The drought and hosepipe bans have helped raise awareness about water usage, and ways we can all be more water efficient, but lifting that drought status doesn’t change the fact that the water resource situation is unsustainable. Greater pressure on water resources due to a growing population, increasing per person usage and changing weather patterns, means that – drought or no drought – we all need to be thinking of ways that we can use less water.
Waterwise would like to see an increase in metering to help people and companies measure and manage their water usage. As well, all water companies could be doing even more to help people save water in their homes and businesses; we must start managing our water supply better for the long term – not just building expensive infrastructure to meet increasing demand. In Britain we use an average of 150 litres per day whereas in Germany and France they use 125 and 110 litres per person per day, respectively. Most people in this country are already taking simple actions to conserve water (and save money), but there is still more that can be done.
Simple water-saving devices and a few small changes to our daily routines could add up to big savings and help tackle drought, protect the environment and save us money.