It’s a drought, stupid! We need hosepipe bans NOW

Angling Trust

RSS Feed
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
447
As rivers and streams across England and Wales shrink and dry up, causing damage to fish and other wildlife, the Angling Trust is calling for immediate hosepipe bans in all affected areas and for DEFRA to declare an official drought.

The Trust is concerned that too many water companies have been reluctant to act for fear of negative publicity, despite latest information from the Environment Agency showing that the water remaining in reservoirs is at its lowest since 1995 ranging from 70% to as low as 43% of normal capacity.

The period from November to July has seen the driest conditions in the south east of England since 1836, when records began. Unless there is an exceptionally wet autumn and winter this could be the beginning of a prolonged and severe drought causing serious problems in 2023 for the economy, the environment and public health.

Studies undertaken after the 2012 drought on the impacts of essential water supply shortages on the London economy gave a figures of losses between £250m and £330m a day – costs which will be even higher now.

The UK Centre of Ecology and Hydrology is predicting the drought conditions will continue until October, with river flows in central and southern England remaining low or exceptionally low.

With the low flows and the heat, fish are suffering, in both our rivers and still waters. The Angling Trust has seen data showing fish kills are at their highest level since 2014 and are likely to continue.

Alarmingly we have seen:

  • Hundreds of salmon, trout and eels having to be rescued from the rivers Teme and Redlake due to low oxygen levels;
  • 250 trout moved further downstream on the river Lathkill due to low flows;
  • 200-300 salmon, trout and eels rescued from the river Tarrant due to it drying up earlier than normal;
  • Fish rescues from de-watered Thames backwaters around Oxford;
  • Hundreds of fish killed at a still water in Sussex due to lack of oxygen, with the EA providing aeration support in response; and
  • Several hundred fish killed at a still water in Kent, with aeration provided to save the remaining stock.

Despite the dire situation only a small number of the 17 water companies in England and Wales have so far introduced hosepipe bans, although Thames Water have finally announced an intention to do so and will join with Southern Water, Welsh Water (Pembrokeshire), Isle of Man and South East Water, in restricting non essential water use for some of its customers.

Stuart Singleton-White, Head of Campaigns at the Angling Trust, said:

“We need the government to treat this as the crisis it is. We can all see the low flow in our rivers, many of our chalk stream drying up, and our fish and other wildlife suffering. If ministers aren’t bothered about the environment they should recognise that the economic cost of seeing the taps run dry is horrendous.

“The government must declare a drought now and the water companies should stop dragging their feet. It’s also concerning that the two candidates to be our next Prime Minister seem to have to say nothing about the crisis unfolding in front of them. We need to be saving every drop of water we can as things will not get better by simply praying for rain. The Met Office are reporting it is unlikely to come anytime soon, and we could well remain in this dry period through to the autumn.”

The lack of new water resources is of huge concern with figures showing that no new reservoirs have been completed since privatisation in 1991 despite a population increase of over 10 million. In the south, where population growth is the most, the last new reservoir built was Farmoor, near Oxford, in 1976. To make matters worse, some water companies have actually sold off reservoirs.

Martin Salter, Chief Policy Adviser to the Angling Trust, said:

“Water policy is the UK has been a complacent shambles for decades. Population growth and climate change are not new challenges and should have been planned for a generation ago. The water infrastructure is creaking, leaking and inadequate and for far too long investment has been held back in favour of keeping water bills down, for which we are now about to pay a far higher price.

“Our rivers are drying up, fish and other wildlife are dying and not just on small streams. Big rivers, like the Thames, are suffering and has now dried up along a five-mile length from its source for the first time ever. And yet right now millions of gallons of scarce water is being wasted keeping golf courses and lawns green rather than helping rivers survive and our wildlife and economy protected.”

Water companies are due to publish their draft Water Resource Management Plan in November. Defra, and its regulators OFWAT and the Environment Agency, need to demand these plans are ambitious enough and have the urgency needed to ensure we build the resilience we need to prepare for a future when drought will be more common. This means fixing the leaks, improving water efficiency in our homes and businesses, and above all, creating more water storage by building reservoirs. We can longer afford to waste water in times of plenty by failing to store it for times of scarcity.


In an emergency:

If you see any fish in distress, please call the Environment Agency’s National Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.


The post It’s a drought, stupid! We need hosepipe bans NOW appeared first on Angling Trust.

Continue reading...
 

mike fox

'Just Me and the Fish'
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,703
Hose pipe ban?????? Ok, so it will help yes, but what about water abstraction by water companies and agriculture. 71% of the worlds freshwater is diverted to agricultural needs so I'm told.
And what is more important? The economy of London or our natural habitat across the globe?
I think priorities need to change but alas the greedy money and finance world will always win over nature and common sense.
Oh well; I'm sure it will rain one day!!
What happened to the prediction of warmer and wetter summers due to climate change? Higher temperatures mean increased water evaporation which means increased precipitation doesn't it?
In a few months time some people will be complaining about having too much water. Humanity just can't get the balance right.
 

Gruff

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2022
Messages
18
Petition the government and water companies to fix the leaks and mis management of the water systems / rivers etc for past 40 odd years rather than get all in a fluster about Brenda watering her pansies. There is no justification for householders to limit their use whilst gross wastage through leaks happens 24/7
 

satinet

Regular member
Joined
Aug 11, 2014
Messages
1,136
What percentage of water use is actually through hose pipes??


If you consider that people can still water plants etc by bucket how much is it actually going to reduce the overall water consumption.

I haven't seen anyone use a garden waterer for at least a decade.

It's going to have an absolutely miniscule effect on anything.

It would be better to build more water infrastructure to match the enormous increase in the country's population and stop the mass leakage from the system.
 

Simon R

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
May 19, 2002
Messages
13,467
I think some of those at the Angling Trust need to understand where our drinking water comes from.

Big rivers, like the Thames, are suffering and has now dried up along a five-mile length from its source for the first time ever. And yet right now millions of gallons of scarce water is being wasted keeping golf courses and lawns green rather than helping rivers survive and our wildlife and economy protected.”
I don't know for certain but I'd be very, very surprised if any water is abstracted from the headwaters of any river in this country.
Water generally flows in a downward direction so it makes no difference how much is removed from further down the catchment it's not going to help fill the river further upstream.
We need rain full-stop.

Simon
 

davylad

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
7,385
I was complaining a few weeks back, about the leakages in the water pipes up and down the country. I did a little research and to be honest, although there are still far far too many, the water companies have been spending millions repairing leaks. It's a bit like the gas industry in the 70's, after many explosions in all areas, the enquiry (The King Report) made the industry clean up it's act. It took nigh on 30 years to get on top of the leaks, but there will still be thousands all over the place.
 

Yosemite Sam

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
3,084
They need far more reservoirs and water storage in all areas, especially the south east. They have built thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of new houses , but I bet not one new reservoir has been dug. And dig them in flood plains instead of building new houses that will get flooded at some point.
 

MunchMyStump

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Messages
1,697
This country has become too reliant on ancient Victorian systems that are just patched up piecemeal when problems occur. There is a severe lack of forethought going on in our politics, it's all about money NOW. Sod the future, the other party can think about that...
That is unless you like in the metropole of London...
Sun has baked me noggin today, can you tell?
 

Lee Richards

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
11,861
Due to the design of our antiquated water and drainage systems and housing any attempt to repair a leak on old estates has to be a major event with significant planning and disruption.
Its a catch 22 because as soon as a road is closed for a period of time to conduct a long term repair/replacement everyone affected is up in arms as their lives are being impacted.
In some inner city areas it has now become impractical to replace old water systems as the disruption is too costly
 

Dave Spence

MD virtual champion 2020. Golden Pie winner 2018.
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
12,186
I can’t wait for the foreign aid to start pouring in🤭.

Imagine the advert

“This is @Peter and every week he struggles to get his keepnets to reach the water…….just £5 per month”………….you know the rest
 

Castlefisher

Regular member
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
181
What percentage of water use is actually through hose pipes??


If you consider that people can still water plants etc by bucket how much is it actually going to reduce the overall water consumption.

I haven't seen anyone use a garden waterer for at least a decade.

It's going to have an absolutely miniscule effect on anything.

It would be better to build more water infrastructure to match the enormous increase in the country's population and stop the mass leakage from the system.
That last sentence says it. Everything I see going pear shaped is down to too many people in this Country and present infrastructure not able to deal with it.
The long term solution is obvious but put on the back burner because "cost without returns " is anathema to (prevailing) political thinking.
Included in that is the repair of water pipes to prevent leaks. It should be a major priority especially given the projected climate changes, but whilst the main objective is profit and not provision for the citizens of the Country , that won't happen without punitive legislation.
In the meantime, we have a drought that behoves us to be tight with water use on a personal basis. No good saying" I won't do the right ( inconvenient) thing as long as the water companies don't "
 

MarkW

Regular member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
1,537
Re leaks: one stretch of road near me was notorious for leaks, with two or three most weeks. It was only developed in the 1970s but talking to the local Wessex Water engineer about this (I was in contact with him about moving a public sewer) he said that one of his predecessors was notorious for signing off just about anything. Since then WW have completely replaced that water main.
 

rudd

Serial Blanker
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
9,677
No. Need to fill from tap.
I have attached a length of mde pipe to my outside tap, on the end of it is another tap that fills the watering can as I hold it over flower beds etc etc. blah blah. 😒






Not really, we can still use hosepipes which is odd as have a drought every year but just shows where there is a will and all that…..
 

satinet

Regular member
Joined
Aug 11, 2014
Messages
1,136
I have attached a length of mde pipe to my outside tap, on the end of it is another tap that fills the watering can as I hold it over flower beds etc etc. blah blah. 😒






Not really, we can still use hosepipes which is odd as have a drought every year but just shows where there is a will and all that…..
Like I say though - where is this data that hosepipes are a significant drain on the water supply? I stand to be corrected but it seems like a supposition without a lot to back it up.

Household usage is supposed to be 120l per person per day. I bet most people use more though.

It's 5l every time you flush the bog.
 

MarkW

Regular member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
1,537
I'm finding that I have enough water from the washing up - two bowls a day - is enough to water the plants. When people start running a sprinkler overnight, unmetered, it is a massive drain on the system, up to 4,500 litres per hour. In 1976 when we had a Dorset hosepipe ban Wessex Water flew a small plane over the region and spotted the green lawns!
 

satinet

Regular member
Joined
Aug 11, 2014
Messages
1,136
I'm finding that I have enough water from the washing up - two bowls a day - is enough to water the plants. When people start running a sprinkler overnight, unmetered, it is a massive drain on the system, up to 4,500 litres per hour. In 1976 when we had a Dorset hosepipe ban Wessex Water flew a small plane over the region and spotted the green lawns!
Fair enough but how many are unmetered. No green lawns round here.
 

G0zzer2

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
4,703
This country has become too reliant on ancient Victorian systems that are just patched up piecemeal when problems occur. There is a severe lack of forethought going on in our politics, it's all about money NOW. Sod the future, the other party can think about that...
That is unless you like in the metropole of London...
Sun has baked me noggin today, can you tell?
As you say, there are still hundreds of miles of old, metal Victorian pipes carrying mains water. I used to work for a Water Board and one problem was that a bomb fell on their offices during WW2 and destroyed the maps of where the pipes were laid.

In places like London there are miles of pipes running somewhere underneath houses and offices - how difficult will it be to a) find out exactly where they run and then b) renew them with PVC pipes, which are flexible and much less likely to fracture? Almost impossible I imagine.

The media loves to quote figures, but I have yet to see an in-depth investigation by a journalist into how the leaks can be stopped (if at all).

I strongly suspect that we will all have to consider some sort of water-retaining system. Rainwater cannot just be kept in the butt until required - it needs to be purified. Perhaps there's a poster with first-hand experience of this? It would be useful.
 

Fritz

Regular member
Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
226
I have a small garden and my philosophy is that I have only plants which do not need extra water. My thinking is that the plants are living since about 500 million years on earth without been given extra water through hosepipes by men and therefore they have to live in my garden without that. I expect that from them. I mainly have wild flowers, some really nice roses and grasses.
 
Top