A water crisis is set to hit Britain’s north, as rivers across the country are running out of drinking water
Water supplies across England are at their lowest level since the 1930s, as the country struggles to cope with a record-breaking drought.
In the south, it’s a different story, with the Government warning that hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses will need to be evacuated as the situation worsens.
But the scale of the crisis is unlikely to be tackled with just a simple boil-water system, and there’s little appetite in Britain to tap the national supply of 1.5bn gallons a day, according to a new report.
“There is not much appetite for such a system across the north,” Professor Andrew Cuddington, the chair of the Water and Climate Change Committee, told BBC News.
In many areas, particularly in the north, there’s just not enough water to go around.
“The north has got a lot of water that needs to be turned into drinking water, but there is little demand for that,” he said.
So, what can the Government do to solve the crisis?
Water restrictions are being introduced across the North, but water restrictions aren’t as severe in the south as in some parts of the country.
In some places, such as in South West England, water restrictions are limited to one metre deep and in others, like parts of South Wales, only one metre.
There are no water restrictions in England’s south-east, and the Environment Agency is now monitoring the situation closely, saying it is “extremely likely” that water shortages will emerge in the region.
“In the North of England we are facing a serious water shortage, and we are working hard to reduce the pressure on water supplies,” said a spokesman for the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).
“We are currently monitoring water supply and the situation is extremely serious, and will act swiftly if there are further indications of a water shortage.”
It’s not just in the North that the situation has deteriorated.
In the south-west, more than 10% of households in Wales are now without water, according a recent report by the Welsh Government.
It means that households in the Welsh valleys are without water for more than 30 days a year.
This is the first time that the government has issued an emergency water supply order, and it means that many of the regions most vulnerable residents have had to endure days of water rationing and cuts to services.
The Environment Agency said it was “extremely concerned” by the situation in the UK, adding that there is “very little appetite” for water restrictions across the entire country.
The water shortage is also being felt in parts of Scotland.
The Environment Agency has warned that the country faces a “watershed emergency” because of its drought conditions.
This is despite Scotland having a relatively large water resource compared to other parts of England, and Scotland has a “very high proportion of arable land” compared to England.
It’s estimated that around a third of Scotland’s water resources are already under threat from water scarcity.
This article was originally published on Business Insider.