The Water UK Long Term Water Resources Planning Framework report identified that a dry climate could treble the risk of experiencing a severe drought in the East of England.
● Research by UKWIR (2013) suggests that climate change will cause annual average UK household demand to increase by about 0.6% between 2012 and 2040. The largest increases are expected in the South of England.
● A bottom-up analysis approach to the 2012 drought observed less external water use events during the drought than in previous or subsequent years. A top-down analysis observed demand was 1-2% lower than forecast in the lead up to the temporary use ban (TUB) implementation, although this was not statistically significant. A maximum decrease of 10% of forecast demand was observed with TUBs implements, however this was also not statistically significant.
● Even when savings have been made, ongoing messaging is required. A recent analysis of data from the State Water Control Board in California highlighted urban residents saved only 0.8 percent in January 2018 versus 20.7 percent in January 2017 compared with the 2013 baseline year.
● We have provided the recommendations below to reduce the impacts of higher temperatures on the risk of drought and the water supply:
○ Government should set an ambitious target for per capita consumption to help the industry and supply chain focus on innovation to deliver resilience through demand management
○ Government and water companies should support Waterwise in developing a coalition of organisations to deliver a national platform for education on water efficiency
○ Government should specifically consider water efficiency within integrated water management and how we can best address drought and flood issues
○ An independent review of water labelling in the UK, including a cost benefit analysis of options to help achieve reduced levels of per capita consumption
○ The Government, through Innovate UK and research councils, to support more innovation in smart water management and water efficiency
○ All new homes in the South East of England should be built to 110 litres per person per day. Water neutrality should also be explored for all new developments.
Read our full response here.