Climate Signals Summary: Climate change is increasing drought risk in certain regions by increasing temperatures, drying out the land, lessening precipitation, and/or making it occur in more extreme bursts.
Article Excerpt: England is in danger of experiencing droughts within 20 years unless action is taken to combat the impact of the climate crisis on water availability, the public spending watchdog says.
The National Audit Office (NAO), in a report published on Wednesday, says some parts of England, especially the south-east, are at risk of running out of water owing to decreased rainfall and a need to cut the amount taken from natural waterways.
The total supply is forecast to drop by 7% by 2045 because of the climate crisis and the need to scale back the amount of water taken out of England’s waterways and soils.
The amount removed will need to be slashed by almost 500m litres a day to ensure sustainable biodiversity can continue, while drier weather is expected to see a 600m litre daily reduction in rainfall.
The report said during the past five years water companies had made little or no progress in reducing water consumption and cutting leakage.
The NAO urged the government to monitor progress on the water suppliers’ pledge to reduce leaks by at least 15% by 2025.
The report said ministers in 2018 committed to announcing a personal water consumption target but had yet to follow through on the promise.