Whilst a warm dry Summer continuing is not out of the question, scientists warn us that our weather will become increasingly wetter. Extremes is the key phrase here. Extremes of drought will increase as will extreme rainfall events. Heavy rain events will become more frequent, and when it does rain, boy will it rain.Considering this may make you think the last thing we need to worry about is running short of water. Not true. Wasn’t all the rain we had last year enough to last us for the decade? The clouds were certainly generous to us, but when it comes to generosity of a rainfall character, it is best distributed in small doses-a couple of pounds every week rather than three massive paycheques in April, June and November. Because when all your rain comes at once a lot of it causes flooding and thus goes to waste, alongside all the other negative effects on homes, businesses and communities.
Climate change and a rapidly growing and developing global community means that water demand is going to increase. Water is already a highly contested resource in third world countries and developing countries where some still do not have access to a clean water supply, and therefore we also should not take it for granted.
Water is not scarce as such, but unevenly distributed. Here in the United Kingdom, we have the economic strength and appropriate resources to extract and efficiently utilise a clean water supply, but not all of us do. Water is not scarce to us right now, but it is a finite resource and will become increasingly scarce if we don’t take action to save it. Far too much water is still wasted due to pollution and general wastage, and it is only a matter of time before we will have to start recycling water in the same way we do with general household waste if we still want the next generation to have a plentiful supply.
If for no other reason, there are few people who would not save water for the huge economic savings it brings. Energy bills are soaring and the economic recession still hangs over us, and if we take some simple steps to reduce our water consumption, our energy bills will rapidly decline.
So next time (probably next week-realism not pessimism) when you are walking to work wishing wellies were part of the uniform, or are staring miserably through the window as the rain pours down just in time to destroy your planned day trip to the beach, just remember that all this water is not very useable and should not be used as if there is no tomorrow. Or, take an alternative more positive outlook, and in the scenario where we have a much deserved warm and dry Summer, water will be in short supply & hosepipe bans will once more be the norm.
I would like to say that if we reduce our water footprints then the British weather will improve. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. But what I can say is whatever the weather this Summer, if we take action to save water we will be better prepared, and have more money to spend on suncream...or raincoats. Nothing ever seems as bad so long as you are well prepared for it