A warning siren has rung in England. An Environmental Agency predicts a high risk for England to face acute water shortage by 2050 if instant action is not obtained to put a speed breaker on water use and wastage.
The report has recognized various reasons for the alarming facts published about the water usage in England. A country with 55.5 million population (according to 2017), England is currently bearing this future threat owing to water overuse and irrelevant water leaks. The report says that 20 million people’s water requirements have been lost due to leakage every day.
Increasing population is expected to play a negative role on the water crisis in future as this increases the demand for water requirements. The following data provides a shred of evidence for the same:
Data above shows population density (people per square kilometer) of the UK by country. According to this data, England is the highly densely populated country with 420 people per square kilometer. The report predicts that this rapidly increasing population could pay for significant water supply shortages by the 2050s, especially in the South East region of England. In addition to the already existing statistics, the population of England is expected to hit 58.6 million by 2026 causing extended stress on water supplies.
Approximately 9,500 billion liters of freshwater were extracted from rivers, lakes, reservoirs and underground sources. 55% of the share was consumed by public water companies, and 27% went to the electricity supply industry. According to the report, water extracted from underground sources (groundwater) is not at a sustainable level for 28% groundwater bodies and 18% surface waters. In the year 2016, unsustainable extraction of groundwater affected 6% – 15% of river water bodies. This means that these river water bodies did not attain the necessary standard ecological potential in 2016. Water bodies include fish, birds and aquatic plants. This leads to the drying up of wetlands which are essential habitat for a group of plants and animals.
Apart from the reluctant usage of water, climate change also has added to the causes of future threats. Climate change has anticipated causing a roll in the lives of wildlife in future as a result of drying conditions of the river due to increase in temperatures. River flows are also likely to reach both the extremes, that is an increase and decrease in winter and summer respectively and cause distress to the lives of wildlife.
Recent weather developments in the UK have cast a shadow pointing at the dark days ahead. Weather forecasts have anticipated Britain to see an increase in the temperature over 30*C over the Bank holiday. This temperature, if attained, the weather forecasters assume will break a heat record. The increase in heat is observed to cast more pressure in South-East England. The Average temperature during this time of the year in Britain was always 15*C unlike this year of 30*C. The threatening conjecture for Britain currently is to live the hottest May Day on record in 2018 breaking the 32.8 C record of 1944.
The difference in the water levels could also lead to spread of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and West Nile virus, because of excessive stagnant water during droughts and higher temperatures, the reports added. Droughts might as well lead to increased dust, stress and anxiety as a result of waterborne diseases.
The report finally warns that if the right action is not directed towards addressing this issue to reduce the increasing supplies of water, it will become impossible to meet the demands, if climate change continues severely and population growth rate persists high. The report also calls specifically to every citizen of England to act responsibly in their water usage as it is the people of the nation who can bring about a change in the scenario of England.
An alarming report on the conditions of England has also been an eye-opener to the rest of the countries in the world that are currently in the race towards deteriorating natural resources. This includes Somalia, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Haiti, Laos, Cambodia, Chad, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan topping the list of 10 countries with more water shortage in the world.