Sunday, May 22, 2011

UK water companies must plan for a drier climate

The government of England's Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs issued the following news release via Waterworld (UK): This Spring's intense dry spell is a sign of things to come and water companies need to be prepared to avoid water shortages, Environment Minister Lord Henley warned today. The recent dry weather which saw just 24 per cent of the average rainfall for April is likely to become a more frequent occurrence in the future due to the impacts of climate change. Therefore long term planning is needed to ensure sufficient water is available during hotter, drier summers.

Lord Henley issued the warning as Defra published reports from each water utility company which identify the risks that climate change will pose to their service, and what actions they are taking to address them. It follows a drought summit called by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman on Monday with water companies, farming groups and environmental organisations to make sure the country is prepared for the possibility of drought conditions following the long dry spell.

Lord Henley said: "The recent exceptionally dry weather is a snapshot of what we might expect from climate change. Although there is no current need for drought measures, there has been understandable concern which underlines the importance of taking steps now to protect the water supply that could be under threat from a drier climate."

"I'm delighted that these reports show the positive action water companies are already taking to address the long term risks of climate change, but with water integral to our very lives there is no time for complacency and more work needs to be done to secure the long term sustainability of our water supply."…

Water tower at Rendlesham, Suffolk. Tower built around 1953 to water board design common in East Anglia, shot by Nat Bocking, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

No comments: