London is on the verge of a desperate water shortage, as we’ve been telling you since 2011. Much as you might like to bemoan our drizzly skies, London actually gets less rainfall per year than Dallas, Istanbul, Sydney and Florida.
So while you might be tempted to poo-poo the suggestion you’re about to read the solution of our looming water crisis, don’t go flushing it down the toilet just yet…
Thames Water is considering plans to treat sewage and recycle it as drinking water. The company is surveying Londoners now to see whether plans wet, sorry, whet their appetite. It is also looking at how waste water from baths, washing machines and dishwashers could be recycled.
You might think such an idea takes the piss, but the water shortage London faces is no laughing matter. We will be 2% short of our water needs in the capital by 2015, rising to a terrifying 16% by 2040, according to Thames Water.
And treated sewage water is perfectly sanitary – many other countries already recycle it as drinking water, including Singapore, Australia, Namibia and a handful of US states. Any issue, then, is merely psychological.
So think about it, and tell Thames Water what you think too, if it happens to ask.
It’s worth realising that the water shortage isn’t just a consumer problem – London’s business prowess is at serious risk if we lose water for industrial processes.
To explore the issue more and find out how you can plan for water shortages now, read our features Drought! What they’re not telling you, and London 2025: Desert capital.
The BBC has a good article on eight radical solutions for the impending major water shortage, including treating waste water.
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