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UK at risk of summer water shortages and hosepipe bans, scientists warn

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The UK is facing potential water shortages and hosepipe bans this summer despite experiencing record rainfall in the past 18 months
• Scientists attribute this paradox to inadequate water storage infrastructure and changing rainfall patterns due to climate breakdown

🔭 The context: No significant new reservoirs have been built in the last 30 years, while many wetlands have been drained
• Coupled with engineered river flows that expedite water movement to urban areas, the country fails to retain the water it receives, leading to a cycle of floods and subsequent shortages

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The Environment Agency predicts a shortfall of almost 5 billion litres of water a day by 2050 due to increased demand and environmental restrictions on water abstraction
• This scenario underscores the urgent need for infrastructure investment to adapt to climate change impacts

⏭️ What's next: Without substantial improvements in water storage and management, the UK faces more severe droughts and water shortages, impacting public supplies, agriculture, and business operations, especially during warm and dry spells

💬 One quote: "We need to realise that our water infrastructure is creaking and requires billions of pounds of investment," said Prof Hannah Cloke, a water specialist at the University of Reading.

📈 One stat: England saw the wettest October to February on record since 1890, yet faces potential water shortages.

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