Demand management

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    Can you share potential opportunities for water demand management?


    You may be interested in a recent research project conducted jointly by the University of Manchester and Artesia to explore water use behaviour change as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and the first UK lockdown. There’s more information and links to the project report here:


    Thanks for sharing this Rob. It is very interesting. I got my own water bill the other day and we are using more water in my house as a result of us working from home.


    Loads of research on the Waterwise database on demand which people might like to look through –


    There is huge potential to reduce water demand from agriculture by adopting “regenerative agriculture” techniques and focusing on improving soil quality and fixing the broken water cycle. I don’t think agriculture should be offered any more water than it already has, this will just delay farmers from taking the action they need to to address the issues. The plan should be that they won’t get any more (even that they should get less) and to work within a limit that reduces. Water is not a carbon free commodity unless it falls from the sky. As soon as you start abstracting and pumping and irrigating there is a lot of energy used to deliver it to a crop. This simply can’t be the case by 2050. Water companies have a vested interest in selling more water and we should push back against this. Reduce, reduce, reduce. Charging more for water is fine. Make businesses and people pay the real cost of water covering the environmental damage that is done by lowering water tables and damming valleys. Focus on sorting out the water cycle. Moving water from one part of the country to another is 20th Century thinking. It encourages more damage in the west (more reservoirs, abstraction, piplines) and more damage in the east (more development, unsustainable cropping). Rainwater harvesting is a sound idea but it won’t happen if people/businesses don’t pay the real cost of water. It will remain more expensive. The idea is right…gather water locally and use it locally.
    Let’s discuss.


    Thanks for sharing this Tim. Lots of interesting thoughts in here. It would be great to hear what others think about this too.

    For those who aren’t familiar with regenerative agriculture, there isn’t a single strict definition of what it is but this short video gives a flavour of it. Many of the techniques promoted as regenerative already have widespread uptake, especially among traditional farmers who wouldn’t necessarily describe themselves as regenerative.

    We are actively looking for opportunities to gather and use water locally for a range of uses, whether for agriculture, public water supplies or other sectors. So if anyone has ideas for particular catchments please let us know.

    We’re also working with the NFU. In its recent water management strategy the NFU has pledged to better understand water demand act to reduce waste.

    Seeking opportunities to reduce demand is the first place we are looking to meet our future water needs, but there may be times or places when this can’t meet all our needs. So we also need to think about other options.
    Further comments welcome – please share.

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