Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Leaky pipes in the UK drought

Hannah Furness in the Telegraph (UK): Figures from regulator Ofwat show 11 companies will not be required to prevent any further leaks from their pipes and systems according to targets set for the period. Of these, eight have not been expected to reduce the amount of water lost through leakage since 2010, with the same consistent target set every year.

These include Yorkshire Water, which was required to spent £33m on leak repairs after failing to meet its 2010-11 targets. The figures have been revealed just weeks after companies imposed hosepipe bans on their customers, in a bid to limit the damage of the worst drought in 25 years.

The water shortage, which has stemmed from two dry winters, has affected an estimated 20 million homes, the majority of which are in the south and east of England. The hosepipe ban is expected to remain in place at least until the end of this summer, as even the wettest April ever recorded failed to replenish reservoirs and water stocks.

The water industry has already been criticised for losing a significant amount of water through leakage, with Ofwat statistics showing 3,365 megalitres lost per day in 2010-11. Their targets, set out in a year-by-year schedule until 2015, aim to bring about a loss of 3,245 ml/d - a reduction of 3.3 per cent in five years....

Leaky aqueduct over disused railway. When this railway was built circa 1917 it was obviously felt that it was important that this river continued on its path. In modern times it now leaks down the left hand column in the picture. Photo by Barry Hunter, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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