What’s Being Done To Reduce Drought Risks In 2019?

We had an unprecedently hot summer this year, almost the hottest on record in fact, which nearly led to the introduction of a hosepipe ban to protect our water supplies. Luckily, this was called off at the last minute but it has given rise to some concern about what the future holds in this regard.


The National Drought Group (NDG) met earlier this month (September 20th) to assess our current situation and take a look at the steps being implemented to reduce the risk of drought come 2019.


Chaired by Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan, the organisation is made up of different government departments, environmental groups, water companies and others to coordinate action to maintain our water supplies, as well as managing other risks associated with drought.


Despite recent rainfall and a drop in temperature, numerous reservoirs in places like Stoke-on-Trent, Sheffield and Manchester are still very low. As a result, action has been taken by suppliers including Severn Trent Water, Yorkshire Water and United Utilities to reduce the water taken from these reservoirs.


There is still localised drought risk in some parts of Yorkshire, Manchester, the Pennines, Stoke, Sheffield and parts of central England.


Water suppliers themselves have detailed the action they plan to take to meet the challenge of future drought risks, including finding more resources to tackle leakage issues, capturing and storing as much water as possible going into autumn, improving drought plans and operational contingency measures, and exploring the opportunities for water transfers between companies.


It was concluded that “there is no threat to essential water supplies. But a drier than average winter would bring the risk of restrictions on water company customers. It would also prove another challenging summer for farmers next year and cause further environmental impacts across the country.


“NDG members agreed to continue to work together to manage down these risks in the short to medium term and to balance the needs of people, the economy and the environment.”


As a business, you can do your bit to protect our water supplies by looking into rainwater harvesting. This is the process of collecting and storing the rainwater deposited on your roof, which can then be filtered and reused instead of your mains water supply.


You can use this water for all sorts of applications, whether it’s toilet flushing and vehicle washing or laundry and process water. This will really help drive down your water bills as you’ll be using the mains supply less and it will also have the added benefit of upping the green credentials of your business.


People are growing increasingly aware of the environmental impact mankind is having on the planet and your company is sure to do well if you can prove that you’re a caring part of the community, doing your bit to protect the planet now and into the future.