On World Water Day (22 March), Interreg France Channel England project Water for Tomorrow launches a new campaign and animation reminding the public that our water resources are precious.
Water for Tomorrow is joining this global initiative led by UN Water to highlight the importance of groundwater. Almost all the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater, supporting drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry, and ecosystems. Water resources are under increasing pressure from climate change, population growth and an increase in demand.
As our world gets hotter, rainfall will likely become less frequent in the summer, with more intense downpours in winter months. This can lead to more frequent periods of water scarcity and drought with potential devastating effects for food production, industry, and last but not least, water dependent habitats and ecosystems. Drought is not just an issue for ‘hot’ countries, the summer of 2018 was one of the hottest and driest across Northern Europe, leading countries to curb the use of water through hose pipe bans, crop failures, and many wildfires across Europe.
Watch the animation below:
Water for Tomorrow is an Interreg France Channel England cross-border project working in five pilot sites in the East of England and North-Western France. When it comes to water, current management systems do not sufficiently account for uncertainty on future scenarios of water supply and demand, and decision-making does not always involve all relevant stakeholders. By engaging with sectors across the board, WfT will help everyone involved gain a more holistic view of the water problem and identify the best solutions to adapt and plan for times when water is scarce.
In the UK, the project is speaking with stakeholders across all sectors in the East of England, one of the UK’s regions most prone to water stress and drought. In East Anglia, many of the rivers and aquifers are already unable to meet the demand for water and the lack of available water impacts on the environment, agriculture and public water supply. All of this comes at a cost to the region in terms of additional emergency expenditure, lost income and a depletion of natural capital.
In the French regions of the Channel area, the issue is emerging with more frequent and longer droughts leading to increased concerns over future public water supply and the potential for conflicts of use among the different sectors.