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Water Management in England and Wales Over the past few years, demand for water in England and

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Water Management in England and Wales Over the past few years, demand for water in England and Wales has been slowly increasing, and is predicted to increase further over the next few years. 70% more water is now used than was 30 years ago. As the demand grows, the availability of potable water is not increasing at anything like the same rate. The fact that the size of households in the UK has decreased this puts greater pressures on water resources, as smaller households use more per person. A third of domestic water was used for personal washing, including baths, showers and hand-basins. Increased ownership of domestic appliances (such as dishwashers and washing machines) and increased use of water in gardens during the drier periods also put extra strain on water supplies. In England and Wales, two thirds of drinking water comes from surface water, including reservoirs, lakes and rivers, and the rest from ground waters. However, this figure has big spatial variations. For example in the Wessex Water region, 80% of the water comes from aquifers and only 20% comes from reservoirs (see right). ...read more.


This means that the aquifers are not recharged. As much of the land is covered with concrete, tarmac and housing, rain that lands in urban areas is usually piped straight into a water course and this will not enter the natural hydrological cycle which would recharge the aquifers. However, they can be "artificially recharged". This involves either redirecting rivers to run over recharge areas, inducing percolation from a body of water such as a lake or pumping surplus water in when there is too much. This method can only be used in a relatively small number of places, but it is relatively cheap and has only a small environmental impact. Spatial planning can play an important role in ensuring that everywhere has sufficient water all the time. The relocation of water via a national grid would allow supplies to be taken where ever they were needed most. However, as water is very expensive to transport over long distances and the initial cost of the pipeline would be huge, I don't think this idea is hugely feasible. ...read more.


Rreverse osmosis is the process of pushing a solution through a filter that traps the dissolved salt on one side and allows just the water through. Multi-flash works by evaporating salt water and condensing it in a series of chambers to exclude the salt. Desalinisation can also so be done on a very small scale; solar distillation can provide an alternate source of clean water. However it is very time consuming and, in England due to its temperate climate, would be very unreliable and virtually unusable in the winter months. As the UK has more than enough precipitation, I think the best strategy of water management would be rainwater harvesting and using it to recharge aquifers in winter. Also, investing in reducing the amount of water that is lost from leaks in the water pipes would be a very cost effective way to increase that amount of water available. A better education program to raise people's awareness of the severity of the issue and what they can do to help would be an effective way of reducing demand for water. Sources Books Environmental Science, Kevin Byrne Websites www.environment-agency.gov.uk www.statistics.gov.uk www.steppingforward.org.uk/ summ/figs/fig18.gif http://www.steppingforward.org.uk/rf/water.htm www.dwi.gov.uk www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/documents/publications/qolc99/ch4q.pdf. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Harris ...read more.

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