Britain’s ‘artificial’ water shortage

Posted: Monday 27th July 2009

As the grass turns yellow and the weathermen warn of record temperatures, we are once again reminded of how fragile our water supplies can be. We could now be using the rain that fell last winter to water our gardens, flush our toilets and wash our cars, but instead we have to use our precious – and increasingly scarce - drinking water. What a waste. The water shortages widely reported in the national press echo the warnings by the Minister of State for Climate Change & Environment, who recently stated that both time and water are running out – and we have to act now.

As the UK does not have a ‘national grid’ for water, the UKRHA is calling on the government and the building industry to make the installation of rainwater harvesting systems in newly built homes compulsory by 2020. A rainwater harvesting system collects water that falls onto the roof of a property – commercial or domestic - for subsequent use in non-potable applications. It has been shown that harvesting rainwater reduces bills, staves off winter flooding and protects the environment. Independent trials have shown that typically a domestic rainwater harvesting system reduces mains water consumption – and water bills - by around 50%.

We don’t have to be short of water, so why should we?

For more information, visit the UK Rainwater Harvesting Association website at

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