Advisers will likely say that water meter readings should be compulsory in the UK.water



The government is likely to be told this week that water meters should be compulsory for all households in England, as water supplies are strained by rising demand and frequent droughts and floods.

The strain on the UK’s water network is increasing under more extreme weather conditions caused by the climate crisis, and investment by water companies is not keeping pace with rising demand.

No new large-scale reservoirs have been built in the UK for at least 30 years, and around a third of water is still wasted due to leaking pipes.

Therefore, an independent expert committee convened by the government is expected to conclude that demand management using meters is unavoidable.

The National Infrastructure Commission will on Wednesday publish its first comprehensive assessment of the UK’s critical infrastructure in five years.

Covering everything from energy and transport to water and waste, it is expected that there will be significant investment gaps and many areas where the UK’s existing infrastructure is poorly maintained and inadequate.

The commission was set up when George Osborne was Chancellor of the Exchequer to advise the Government on key investments and help the UK reach its legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions. There is also a high possibility that Japan will warn that it is lagging behind in developing the necessary infrastructure. To reduce gas emissions by 2050 and protect ourselves from the effects of the possible climate crisis.

Many of the committee’s findings are likely to be controversial, especially in light of recent government announcements. The cancellation of the northern section of HS2 will wipe out public transport plans across the north of England, and delays in phasing out gas boilers will impact gas use and energy demand for decades.

Water will probably be one of the most heated debates. Sewage in rivers has caused widespread public outrage, and while few people have yet experienced water supply problems, they are likely to start experiencing problems as well, as water supplies cannot keep up with demand.

Water companies have extracted around £72bn in dividends since privatisation, but are seeking around £96bn of investment to alleviate the wastewater crisis and protect supplies. Under the current system, most or all of that comes from the bill payer.

The commission is likely to find that up to nine new large-scale reservoirs are needed, along with expanding some of the existing reservoirs and numerous water recycling plants. Nine new desalination plants may also be needed.

As the climate crisis worsens and droughts and floods become more common across the UK, increasing supply alone is unlikely to solve the problem. It is therefore necessary to manage demand and compulsory water metering is seen as the best means of achieving this.

Water meters have been controversial in the past, with social activists raising concerns about the impact on large, low-income families. But water companies could be given the power to offer different rate plans to help larger households and those with special needs pay their bills.

Water meters would also ensure that high-income people who use large amounts of water for leisure purposes are charged fairly.

Currently, people who use large amounts of water, such as in large gardens or swimming pools, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, can use as much water as they like without having to install compulsory meters.

Downing Street did not respond to questions from the Guardian about whether Mr Sunak had a water meter installed at his North Yorkshire swimming pool. The pool required upgrades to the local power grid, paid for by the Prime Minister, the Guardian revealed earlier this year.

Compulsory meter installation requires government intervention, as water companies do not have the authority to install meters in many areas outside of areas judged to be under water stress.

Legally binding targets have already been set to reduce per capita water consumption by 20% by 2038 and further by 2050, from approximately 145 liters per day to 110 liters per day. There is.

The National Infrastructure Commission has hinted in the past that more water meters need to be installed, but stopped short of making an official recommendation.

The committee’s chairman, Sir John Armit, told the Guardian he believed water meter readings were a necessary step as the drought accelerated last summer.

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