Power sector drives six-year abstraction increase

A 7.5% year-on-year increase in water abstraction from non-tidal surface water and groundwater sources in 2017 topped a steady rise to 10.4 bn cubic metres from a low in 2011 interrupted by a hike in 2012 (see figure 1*). according to Defra statistics released last week.

Increases in abstraction by the power industry created the bulk of the rise over the 2011-17 period.

Over that period total abstraction increased by 26.9% with the power sector more than doubling its abstraction to 3.3bn cubic metres in 2017.

Abstraction for public water supply remained flat rising 3.1% over the six-year period to make up just over 51% of the total.

In 2017 19.1% of total abstractions were from groundwater.

*Figure taken from Water abstraction statistics: England, 2000 to 2017