Engineers back Ofwat plan to tackle water shortages

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THE country’s civil engineering profession has welcomed OFWAT’s plans to plans to give greater incentives for companies to transfer water from areas where it is plentiful to places of shortage.
Michael Norton, the Institution of Civil Engineers’
(ICE) water expert, said it is encouraging to see OFWAT finally taking action to incentivise the trade of water and interconnectivity where appropriate. “The UK’s water security is at a critical point and a number of urgent steps are required if we are to tackle this.
“Removal of the regulatory barriers that discourage water sharing between neighbouring water companies will play an important role, as will the development of new water storage facilities to harvest more rainfall. These facilities come at a cost, and this is another area where water companies should be incentivised to collaborate – sharing the cost and ensuring facilities are developed for a range of uses such as flood control, agriculture and public water supply.”
Norton said it is important that OFWAT focuses its efforts on encouraging water sharing between adjacent regions, enabling the water needed to be transferred through a displacement chain or between adjacent river basins. “Moving water long distances around the UK is costly, potentially environmentally damaging and too grand a design for the need.”

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