Meeting will explore ways to ensure future generations are not left “high and dry”.

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) will be discussing plans to avert a future water shortage in the south east of England at a public meeting in Reading tomorrow (10 October).

Water companies are increasingly finding it difficult to meet the demands of homes and businesses, particularly in the south-east region, the watchdog said. The region comes under the most pressures from factors such as climate change and a growing population.

CCWater has invited water companies to explain how they are confronting this challenge through more resilient planning and infrastructure, as well as helping consumers to use water wisely.

It said the meeting will explore ways to ensure future generations are not left “high and dry”.

Alan Lovell, chair of CCWater, said: “Running water is something most of us take for granted in this country but our resources are coming under intense pressure.

“Taking the right action now is imperative to ensure future generations do not inherit a serious water shortage. We are looking forward to hearing what is being done to safeguard our resources and how consumers can play their part.”

Speaking at a Southern Water event last month, the company’s chief executive Ian McAulay, said the south-east region has “water scarcity as bad as I’ve seen in many countries.”

He explained: “The concept of economic growth and demand of people moving and migrating down to this area is driving demand up.

“And at the same time, we are trying to manage the water environment, and I don’t just mean the water utility environment, we need to think much broader than that; the whole water environment.”

“We need to think very differently as the challenges here are significant,” McAulay said.

CCWater’s meeting at Reading Town Hall, will feature a series of presentations by members of Water Resources in the South East, the group spearheading efforts to protect the region’s water resources. While Thames Water will outline its plans to reduce the amount of water lost through leaks across its supply area.

Consumers will have the opportunity to put their questions to CCWater’s board at the start of the meeting. 

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