London to run out of water.
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.
It’s time we started asking the all-important questions to the Mayor of London:
“What policies are they implementing to ensure that London’s threat of water scarcity is mitigated and managed?” Although short-termism is popular in politics, its vital that this threat is addressed as the population of London’s livelihood is at stake.
That is why I will be writing to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan to ask him these questions and more. Watch this space. It’s time we Londoners took issues into our own hands. What can you do to help secure London’s water future?