Facing severe water shortages, England now offers its citizens less water than Egypt and might one day grow as thirsty as Australia. A new report by the Environment Agency, a public body for protecting the environment in England and Wales, calls for strict water use controls in Britain. Climate change threatens to dry up much of the country’s groundwater, the agency says.
Their report links England’s water supply to global warming. While forecasters expect climate change to develop slowly, there is no guarantee that a major event will not soon occur. Trevor Bishop, head of the agency’s water resources policy, points to precedents such as Australia — where the national drought that began as just a “two-year anomaly” has now stretched across a decade.
Conservation efforts are crucial for England. The report concludes that British citizens should cut their average daily water use from about 39 gallons (148 liters), one of the highest figures in Europe, to less than 37 gallons (130 liters). Otherwise, England’s rivers could reduce to mere trickles by mid-century.
“Already there is less water available per person in England and Wales than in Egypt or Spain,” said Chris Smith, the agency’s chairman. “If we fail to act now, we could face severe consequences such as water rationing, standpipes in our streets and the loss of wetlands and native wildlife.”
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Source: The Guardian
, a Bulgaria native, is a Chicago-based reporter for Circle of Blue. She co-writes The Stream, a daily digest of international water news trends.
Interests: Europe, China, Environmental Policy, International Security.