The United Kingdom may be heading to a water crisis. A government study suggests that the country's water supply might run out in the 2050s.
A Possible Water Drought?
The United Kingdom's Environment Agency released new reports that stated residents needed to use less water and companies must reduce leaks to prevent future water shortages. The government agency noted in their study that England's water supplies are strained, and a majority of the country could see water supply diminish by 2050.
The EA reported that almost 9.5 billion liters (2.5 billion gallons) of water was removed from the ground in 2016, which is enough to cover London in 20 feet of water. They also noted that 3 billion liters (nearly 8 billion gallons) of water per day is lost due to leakage, which is the average water consumption for 20 million people.
Climate Change And Population Growth
In its new report, the EA revealed that several factors could cause the water supply to wane. They stated that climate change would be a significant factor as the EA wrote that the country would face increasingly hot summers. The EA warned that potential droughts, low water supplies, and increased temperatures could lead to spread of the West Nile virus.
They also mentioned England's population growth could also play a role. In the report, the EA estimated that the country's population is set to rise to 58.5 million people by 2026. They also added that the water's availability would affect agricultural activity such as draining the country's wetlands and tree planting.
Future Energy Strategies
The EA noted that water plays a significant role in energy generation. The government agency looked over two potential scenarios that could play out depending on both future energy production and climate change. One study showcased that removing water from the ground could lead to higher consumption levels and would also affect the country's power plants.
Also, the EA is not concerned about fracking and how it would not be a problem for getting fresh water. Fracking is a process of injecting high-pressure liquid into rocks to release natural gas. However, it did mention that fracking could make an impact on water-stressed areas if the oil and gas industries continue to develop.
How Can This Problem Be Solved?
Sir James Bevan, the head of the Environment Agency, gave several suggestions to the British people. He recommended that people should choose to shower over taking a bath and turn the faucet off when brushing teeth. Bevan added that people should take responsibility in the way they use water.
"What really matters is all of us take personal responsibility for an issue we all will face. Climate change and population growth mean that if we don't take action now, then by 2050 or so we just won't have enough water for people, business, and the environment," said Bevan.