London could run out of water

Published by Ocean Generation \ November 8, 2018 2:49 pm

Part of the Saving The Grace X Ocean Generation series

It’s hard to imagine water not coming out of your tap, yet for the average Londoner this is more of a real time threat than an apocalyptic tale. London is ranked 9th in a list of “water stressed” cities worldwide.

According to the Greater London Authority, the city is pushing close to capacity and is likely to have supply problems by 2025 and “serious shortages” by 2040. London draws 80% of its water from the River Thames and the River Lea yet current levels of annual average rainfall suggest this is no longer a sustainable approach.

Cape Town experienced a crippling water shortage in early 2018 as the city approached Day Zero. Strict restrictions on water usage were put in place whilst supermarkets rationed water. Cape Town residents were urged to use no more than 50 litres of water each per day; considering having a bath requires 90 litres, the Brits may not fare so well. Could this be the future for London?
It’s hard to imagine water not coming out of your tap, yet for the average Londoner this is more of a real time threat than an apocalyptic tale. London is ranked 9th in a list of “water stressed” cities worldwide.

According to the Greater London Authority, the city is pushing close to capacity and is likely to have supply problems by 2025 and “serious shortages” by 2040. London draws 80% of its water from the River Thames and the River Lea yet current levels of annual average rainfall suggest this is no longer a sustainable approach.

Cape Town experienced a crippling water shortage in early 2018 as the city approached Day Zero. Strict restrictions on water usage were put in place whilst supermarkets rationed water. Cape Town residents were urged to use no more than 50 litres of water each per day; considering having a bath requires 90 litres, the Brits may not fare so well. Could this be London’s future?

The problem in London is threefold: a rising population, increasing number of houses putting strain on a Victorian waste water and sewage system, and a high rate of waste water at 25%. This is without considering climatic change which may result in more extreme weather patterns: more rain in winter, with drier periods in summer.

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