Thursday, December 8, 2011

UK faces future of droughts if water use not cut, minister warns

The Guardian (UK) via Press Association: Households in Britain will be encouraged to install dual-flush toilets and garden water butts to try to prevent water shortages, the environment secretary has said. Caroline Spelman warned that parts of the UK faced droughts unless attitudes to water use changed, and said the government was planning to "incentivise" water efficiency.

In the Water for Life white paper she has set out proposals to overhaul the industry, with plans including rules on how water should be extracted from rivers without risk of "running them dry". Water companies, farmers and businesses are bound by abstraction laws that date back to the 1960s. But the Environment Agency has warned that practices are harming conservation sites.

The plans also include big changes in the operation of the water industry, aimed at making it more "resilient and efficient". Additionally, all businesses and public sector services will be free to buy supplies from any water company. The move will allow large businesses with multiple bases, such as supermarkets, to negotiate one bill for the company rather than numerous individual payments....

A dry reservoir at Healey, UK (it leaked since it was built in the 19th century), shot by Bryan Tenny, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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