Water Stress

Posted 23/11/2023

We are aware of the level of water stress in this region and The Environment Agency’s report in Water Stressed Areas (2021), goes into more detail on this issue:

Water stressed areas – 2021 classification - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Figure 1 shows that water stress is a concern for most of England, and solutions will have to be undertaken at a national and regional level to counter the impact.

A map showing areas of water stress in England

In terms of what this means, the following are extracts from this report:

The determination shows where we believe there are or, are likely to be, environmental impacts caused by public water supplies or the need for major water resources developments. It indicates where these could be reduced by improving water efficiency through metering. It does not indicate that there will not be enough water for supplies or reflect water company performance.

Local authorities can use the water stress determination to inform whether they can require the tighter standard of 110 litres per head per day in new developments. Otherwise the use of the water stress determination is only to allow water companies to consider compulsory metering in their water resources management plans. It must not be used for other purposes such as development planning or water resources planning.

Therefore, whilst water metering and the conditioning of installations that reduce water usage, e.g. water butts, rain water / grey water harvesting, water saving shower fittings, might be appropriate, demands of water from new development will be considered at a regional and national level to identify more strategic solutions.