England risks running out of water by 2040: There is a serious risk that England could of run out of water by 2040 due to climate change.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has issued a warning, which accuses Defra, Ofwat and the Environment Agency of having “taken their eye off the ball” and stresses these organisations must ensure a reliable water supply for the country in the years ahead and make sure they take urgent action now.

Currently three billion litres is lost to leakage every day, it notes – this is roughly equivalent to 20% of the total volume used, and according to the PAC is “wholly unacceptable”.

‘Industry action has failed’ , the Committee says and states “no progress” over the last 20 years has been made in reducing leakage as a result of “ponderous” action from water companies – it urges the government to get involved and make sure water companies better balance investment in infrastructure with reducing customer bills.

It also suggests that the regulator Ofwat should better promote the importance of water efficiency and produce annual performance league tables for water companies.

Chair of the Committee, Meg Hillier MP said: “It is very hard to imagine, in this country, turning the tap and not having enough clean, drinkable water come out – but that is exactly what we now face. Continued inaction by the water industry means we continue to lose one-fifth of our daily supply to leaks.

“Empty words on climate commitments and unfunded public information campaigns will get us where we’ve got the last 20 years: nowhere. Defra has failed to lead and water companies have failed to act: we look now to the Department to step up, make up for lost time and see we get action before it’s too late.”

England risks running out of water by 2040

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