Do We Need Water Storage Tanks in UK?

Jun 11

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Monday, June 11, 2012  RssIcon

The areas most at risk of water shortages in the UK are the Anglian, Thames and Southern regions. These areas depend on groundwater supplies so if they are not replenished in winter this may leave an insufficient amount for extraction during the summer months when demand increases.

Although the north-west of England and Scotland have higher rainfall than the south-east, their water storage systems (reservoirs) hold smaller amounts of water. So when there is a drought across the whole of the UK, the north-west or west often suffers from water shortages and water restrictions before the south-eastern regions.

Another fact to consider is whether the demand for water varies across each region of the UK. Research shows that the growth in demand is in south and east England. These are also areas which are vulnerable to drought. Water shortages in these areas are would mean reducing the amount of water abstracted from the ground by way of imposing water shortages.

To overcome long periods of low-rainfall there needs to be a sustainable strategy to prevent water shortages and consequent damage to the environment leading to rivers drying-up and ground water levels being depleted:
  • efficient use of water is essential,
  • water leakages need to be reduced,
  • increase the number of water storage systems for agricultural areas to make the best use of available water,
  • utilising rising ground water levels
  • increase winter storage for climate change predictions (low rain-fall and rise in temperatures) - this can be achieved through increasing the capacity of existing reservoirs and increasing the number of water storage tanks to store winter rain.

The UK has more water than it needs, but much of it is in the wrong place. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have sufficient water resources to meet public demand, although this changes in drought conditions. England has areas of both water surplus and water shortage. Groundwater supplies southern and eastern parts of England. There is, therefore a need for water storage systems hence the promotion for use to use drinking water efficiently, to install rain butts and to increase the number of above and below the ground water storage tanks, lined with tank liners to prevent corrosion, to collect water for use on agricultural sites, to water gardens and to maintain sports grounds including the greens at golf clubs.

While it may not seem so obvious, we always need to be prepared for a change in weather patterns so that demand and the needs of the environment are sustainable. 

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