Serious water stress set to become widespread

Large parts of England will be classed as being under ‘serious water stress’ if a new definition is adopted. A step-change in universal water metering could result

Table: Water stress classification for water firmLarge swathes of western England and the Midlands would become reclassified as seriously water stressed, under changes proposed by the Environment Agency. Approval for universal water metering in these areas could then follow.

The environmental regulator is consulting on improving its definition of water stress to take account of three new factors: the effect of water consumption on the environment; household water consumption; and future pressures from climate change and population growth.

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