Projected UK population increases over the coming 25 years could place the country’s water network under severe strain, warned the head of the Environment Agency Sir James Bevan in a presentation to the Waterwise conference in London in March 2019.
Fortunately, these worrying predictions come with several big ifs, and there are ways chronic water shortages may be avoided. Bevan’s suggestions included:
- Building new ‘mega reservoirs’– no new reservoirs have been built in the UK since 1989, meanwhile the population has risen from 57 million to nearly 67 million in 2019.
- Improve the water pipework infrastructure to reduce wastage through leaks.
- Create new pipelines and canals to enable faster transfer of water from water-rich areas to water-stressed areas (such as South-East England) in times of drought.
- Encourage more efficient use of water in private homes and gardens – Bevan estimates this could cut average individual daily water use from 140 L to 100 L within 20 years.
These are all viable strategies for improving water management, and to this list we can add another suggestion:
Increase private use of rainwater in homes, gardens and businesses to reduce pressure on the water mains.
Rainwater harvesting is not a new idea but has the potential to transform the way private homes use water. The idea is simple: rainwater is collected, purified and pumped to strategic points in the home for use in the garden, in toilets, in washing machines and even (in some cases) for washing and drinking water.
For property developers, installing rainwater harvesting systems in new homes may raise property prices by making houses more desirable in areas susceptible to water shortages. Individual homeowners experience the benefits of a rainwater harvesting system in reduced mains water use, and subsequently lower water bills, which are no doubt expected to rise as the supply of available water diminishes.
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At Rainharvesting Systems Ltd we offer a range of modern rainwater harvesting and treatment solutions for domestic and commercial properties of all types. To find out more or discuss your requirements, please call 01452 772000.
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