Managing demand will be crucial to prevent south east England from having a water deficit, leading figures from the UK water industry said this week.
Speaking at the ICE’s Water Management 2015-2040 lecture Affinity Water’s chief executive Richard Bienfait outlined the problem facing the region, as climate change is expected to reduce the amount of available water by around 25M.l/day. This combined with an expected population growth of 15% could strain the water supply.
“Supply solutions come later,” said Bienfait. “To begin with we will have to persuade customers to use less water.”
Thames Water’s external affairs and sustainability director Richard Aylard and Sutton and East Surrey water’s engineering director Lester Sonden outlined solutions including compulsory metering, improved systems for rain water catchment and bulk supply agreements between neighbouring areas.
“There comes a time when you can’t do any more demand management,” said Aylard. “Getting better at capturing rain resources must be part of the solution.”