In the UK the provision of clean, pure water and efficient sewerage is taken for granted, but it is essential that the sources are maintained and improved to ensure the country’s well-being. The UK water supply is vulnerable to the climate. The UK has less rainfall per person than our northern European neighbours and London is drier than Istanbul.
There are 28 water and sewerage undertakers in the UK and 9,000 wastewater treatment works. The average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water a day. Industry and commerce consume about 1,300 million cubic metres of water a year. The UK water industry manages more than 16 billion litres of wastewater per day.
The industry has to take on the challenges of climate change, meeting increasing demands from industry and housing, the costs of reusing water and meeting the highest industry standards. The water industry is looking at sustainable development in the implementation of local water and wastewater services to identify common methods to provide these services whilst meeting UK and European environmental standards. However changes to the water services infrastructure have a long lead time. Over the next 5 years the industry is investing £44bn in improvements.