If UK population and housing growth projections are correct, many areas of the UK with current constraints on their water resources will be adversely affected within a generation from the combined effect of limited resource availability and increased demand.
Saving water = saving energy = saving carbon
WRc has built up an extensive evidence base for water use in homes and more recently also in the construction sector. Understanding how water is used is just the first step: changing consumer behaviour and driving innovation in the water sector are additional challenges but essential, particularly in areas of the UK where sustainable supplies of fresh water are already compromised.
In the shorter term, any increase in drought frequency will exacerbate seasonal demand for water from consumers and increase leakage from susceptible infrastructure in the right soil conditions. Equally, the harsher winters of 2009 / 2010 have flagged up weaknesses in infrastructure which need to be understood to get a better idea of how and why our infrastructure assets respond, both now and under projected climate scenarios.
A team of WRc analysts, economists and a meteorologist is already supporting clients by translating the UKCP09 climate projections and meteorological data into practical solutions, for example determining:
- seasonal impacts on infrastructure leakage and bursts
- climate impacts on asset deterioration
- the effects on river water quality and hence water treatment under different climate scenarios.