‘Unambitious’ Draft Water Resource Management Plans Draw Criticism
Director of strategy and policy at Ofwat Carl Pheasey has come out and said that the draft water resources management plans that water suppliers have put together are unambitious when it comes to water efficiency.
He made the comments at the most recent Waterwise Annual Conference in London last month (March), telling delegates that water efficiency is essential to meeting the challenges that will arise in the next 25 years – including climate change, projected population growth, increased environmental responsibilities and changing patterns of consumption.
The regulator has concerns that companies bringing out their drafts are falling short of expectation in this regard, with Mr Pheasey saying that the watchdog is now keen to see both more innovation and more ambition.
He went on to state: “Water efficiency should be a no-brainer in terms of the focus that companies put on it because it can have a long-term impact on future investment requirements and the system resilience that companies need to be paying attention to – the last few days have illustrated the important role that water efficiency can play in building resilience.”
Companies and the government should work together to raise awareness of the need to reduce water consumption and usage, Mr Pheasey continued. While the government should assume a leading role in this regard, companies must accept the fact that they’re the ones that have customer relationships and this should be honed.
There are serious water challenges facing the UK at the moment, with climate change likely to result in more erratic weather patterns – which will have the knock-on effect of more floods and droughts, and less certainty about rainfall and river flows. This means that we’ll likely be able to rely less upon water sources like reservoirs or groundwater abstraction.
It’s also possible in the future that, because of climate change, the UK has to start producing more food as other parts of the world find themselves less suited to agriculture… so we’ll likely need more water for irrigation. And let’s not forget about the growing population – this will mean there’s more demand for water supplies now and well into the future.
As such, water efficiency should be a top priority for all. Quite simply, it’s using the right amount of water necessary in order to carry out certain tasks. Once efficiency is improved, less water will be wasted – and when it comes to urban water management, processes like rainwater harvesting and water reuse will really come into their own.
Rainwater harvesting in the UK involves the collection and storing of rainwater deposited on your roof area. This water will then be filtered and reused in the place of mains water, for the likes of laundry and process water, vehicle washing and toilet flushing. There are benefits to implementing this kind of harvesting system, including reducing your water bills and water consumption as well.
If you’d like to find out more about this kind of scheme, get in touch with us h ere at H2O Building Services today.