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England could run short of water in 25 years: Environment Agency chief

File photo of a UK heatwave. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 19, 2019, 01.46 PM (IST)

England could run short of water in 25 years, the country's Environment Agency was quoted as saying in news reports Tuesday. 

Sir James Bevan blamed the cause on global warming and the country's rising population, adding that England was facing the "jaws of death". 

“Around 25 years from now, where those (demand and supply) lines cross is known by some as the ‘jaws of death’ — the point at which we will not have enough water to supply our needs, unless we take action to change things,” Bevan was quoted as telling the Guardian, before a speech at the Waterwise conference in London. 

“Water companies all identify the same thing as their biggest operating risk: climate change,” he added. 

Bevan told the Guardian that by 2040 most summers would be hotter than the 2003 heatwave. That he said would lead to more water shortages and, potentially, 50-80% less water in some rivers in the summer. 

But, added Bevan, it was still possible to bring things under control. 

That he said could be done by cutting people’s water use by a third and leakage from water company pipes by 50%, along with big new reservoirs, more desalination plants and transfers of water across the country.

Bevan said England had, over the last two years, been able to "change people's behaviour" when it came to plastic; they now needed to do the same thing with their usage of water. 

“We need water wastage to be as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby or throwing your plastic bags into the sea,” he told the Guardian.  

The UK's population is currently 67 million. It is expected to rise to 75 million by 2050.

The BBC reported Bevan as being expected to say at the Waterwise conference that: "So: climate change plus growth equals an existential threat... to our economy, environment, security, happiness, way of life. We can choose to ignore this problem. Or we can choose to tackle it."

The BBC added that people currently use, on average, 140 litres of water a day. And that Bevan will calling on people to cut that down to 100 litres.

Bevan was expected to hand out tips to help people pare their water use.

They are expected to include: getting a low-flush toilet; taking short showers, turn the tap off when brushing your teeth and, the BBC added, not to water your lawn as "it will survive without you".