British Environment Agency CEO James Bevan says that Brits should get used to the idea of having to drink recycled sewage in times of water uncertainty.
“We need to treat water as a precious resource, not a free good,” writes Bevan in The Sunday Times. “We will have to be more selective about what we use drinking water for. It makes no sense to use it to clean the car or water the lawn.”
“We will need to be less squeamish about where our drinking water comes from. Part of the solution will be to reprocess the water that results from sewage treatment and turn it back into drinking water — perfectly safe and healthy, but not something many people fancy.”
Bevan continues, explaining that, besides getting Brits to drink recycled sewer water, the government is specifically looking into ways to “help reduce personal water consumption” through measures such as “mandatory water-efficiency labelling for household goods.”
Bevan says that due to droughts and record low rainfall, rivers and reservoirs have fallen to dangerously low levels (not just in the UK but in several European nations), which the government has so far addressed by applying a hosepipe ban on millions along with several other restrictions.
As the UK struggles to keep up with the demand of its growing population — with most growth mainly being a result of immigration — and due to the impact of supposed climate change, he now expects that water security will be one of the government’s chief concerns over the coming years.
“Having enough water is at the heart of the climate emergency and an existential challenge,” Bevan writes. “If we don’t change gears and step up now, we will hit what I’ve called the “Jaws of Death.”