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Water for the Future

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 07 June 2012

Last month, forty flood warnings were issued across England while hosepipe bans remained in place due to water shortages. Drought restrictions imposed by seven water companies may soon be lifted but in a special programme, You & Yours asks why we run short of water and what we should do to ensure that we have enough in future.

Winifred Robinson examines the role of the water companies, looking at who supplies our water in different parts of the UK. She asks if the water shortage is just down to the drought or whether water companies could do more to conserve water by for example fixing leaks.

It has been suggested that Wales, which has an abundance of water, could trade with drought hit parts of England. Welsh Water explain how water trading might work in practice and whether this is a realistic option.

How can the buildings we live and work in prevent drought and flood? Fran Bradshaw from Anne Thorne Architects and Cath Hassell from Ech2o Consultants explain how we can conserve water by designing for drought.

People with water meters use ten to fifteen per cent less water and, in some parts of the UK, water meters are becoming compulsory. Dr Tim Leunig outlines how a system in place in Western Australia, where you pay a penalty for excessive water use, could be the fairest way to charge.

Lincolnshire is still in drought but farmers and businesses have found innovative solutions to the shortage by recycling water from industry and building mini reservoirs. We also hear from a couple in Kent who will never pay another water bill after they drilled their own borehole to supply their property with water.

Presented by Winifred Robinson
Produced by Olivia Skinner.


7 items
  • Drought over?

    Is the drought officially over? Nicola Poole from the Environment Agency explains why restrictions may soon be lifted.

  • The UK water system

    Who supplies the water in different parts of the UK and how does the system work?

  • Water Leaks

    Water companies in England have been criticised for the amount of water that leaks out of old pipes. Could they be doing more to fix leaks?

  • Should every household be on a water meter?

    Paying for what you use might be the fairest way to charge for water but, in areas where universal metering is being rolled out, some families are paying more despite using less water.

  • Water - the Welsh oil?

    It has been suggested that Wales could trade water with drought hit parts of England. Welsh Water explains how it could work.

  • Drought in Lincolnshire

    In Lincolnshire, part of the country which has been hit by drought restrictions, businesses have come up with some innovative ideas to save water.

  • Designing for drought

    Can buildings help us save water? We hear from Fran Bradshaw from Anne Thorne architects and water strategist Cath Hassell from Ech2o Consultants Ltd.



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