Warning that water could run out in 25 years

Water, water everywhere: Cutting usage by 40 litres a day would be easy for most people.

The head of England’s Environment Agency has warned that we are set to run out of water in 25 years. To avoid a crisis, he says that we must urgently reduce the amount of water we use.

What’s happening

There are some things we all know are wrong. Throwing plastic bags into the sea, for example.

Now, James Bevan wants to add another thing to the list of shame: wasting water. As the head of England’s Environmental Agency, he has warned that the country’s water supplies could soon dry up.

Find out more

In an important speech this week, Bevan warned that England could reach the “jaws of death” in just 20 to 25 years. At this point, “we will not have enough water to supply our needs.”

He says the problem is caused by climate change and our growing population.

The average person uses around 140 litres of water a day. Bevan says we need to cut this to just 100 litres.

His tips include turning off the tap as you brush your teeth; taking short showers; and not watering the lawn.

Last year, Cape Town almost became the first city in the world to run out of water. Residents averted the crisis by using only 50 litres of water a day and taking 90-second showers.

“We’ll never, ever, ever take water for granted again,” said one resident.

Can we stop the water crisis?

Some say…

No. We are terrible at seeing long-term dangers and making the necessary changes to our lives. Just look at our government’s failure to deal with climate change. Besides, as the world heats up the water crisis will get even worse. It may already be too late for some parts of the world, and in England we’re not paying enough attention.

Others think…

Yes. There are lots of ways to stop wasting water: public campaigns to educate people, and government rationing if necessary. As the people in Cape Town showed, we can make drastic changes to our lives in an emergency. If we start now, we can help sort out the problem before it gets to that point.

You Decide

  1. How could you reduce the amount of water you use?

Activities

  1. Using James Bevan’s tips and any more you can think of by yourself, design a poster telling people how they can waste less water.

Some People Say...

“Water is life, and clean water means health.”

Audrey Hepburn

What do you think?

Word Watch

Climate change
Extreme weather around the world that is getting worse, caused by greenhouse gas pollution.
Population.
The number of people who live in a place.
Lawn
Grass in your garden.
Averted
Avoided, stopped.

Subjects

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