Friday, July 8, 2011
As the demand for water intensifies over the coming decades, the need for water supply insurance may become increasingly pertinent for households around the world. According to experts at the recent Canadian Water Network meeting, climate change and population growth will see demand exceed supply by as much as 40 per cent in some countries.
Leading water economist Dr Margaret Catley-Carlson, who was one of the 300 delegates at the Ottawa summit, said that the issue “could easily be one of humanity’s greatest short-term challenges”. She told the meeting that filling the supply gap could cost around £124 billion per year. However, she outlined how strategies which would manage supply and demand more effectively could cut this to between £31 billion and £37 billion.
Dr Catley-Carlson discussed how the problem could affect other areas of society, such as agriculture – which currently uses around 71 per cent of all water supplies.
Commenting on the report, Anna Warwick Sears, from the Okanagan Basin Water Board in British Columbia, said that “new ways of thinking and co-operation” will need to be found in the coming years.
“Even in one of the driest regions of Canada, our water systems were built under a paradigm of unlimited supply,” she asserted. Another scientist, Dr Nicholas Ashbolt, from the US Environmental Protection Agency, added that dry composting toilets could be one potential solution to the problem.
While the scientists’ predictions span many years into the future, at the very least their comments could offer the chance for households to pause for thought and consider just how precious their water supply is. Although we rarely see or even think about it, our water supply pipes perform a crucial role – and a leak or burst can cause real problems. If a repair is needed on the part of the pipe managed by your local utility company, they will usually foot the bill, but some families may be unaware that they are responsible for the portion found closest to their property.
Repairs can run into many thousands of pounds, meaning it’s important to be prepared for the worst. By paying a small premium each month, you can protect your water supply, meaning you can call in an expert to fix leaks and bursts without worrying about the cost of the job.
As utilities become more and more scarce as the years advance, it appears that provisions such as water supply pipe insurance will be too –why not get your home protected now?