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  • by Trevor Loveday

Think tank calls for collaboration to avert water supply threat in the North

Policymakers across the North of England need to collaborate with water companies to relieve growing pressures on water supplies in the region that threaten its economy according to think tank, Public Policy Research (IPPR).

In a recent report IPPR North said “The serious and increasing pressures on both supply and demand that are forecast for the coming century mean that policymakers must act now.”

It said strategic discussions about the future of the Northern economy – the so-called Northern Powerhouse – “have failed to engage properly with the potential impact on water systems and with the increasingly urgent need to manage demand for water in future.” It went on to warn that the alleged poor engagement would lead to “poor decision-making.”

The report, Water in the Northern Powerhouse included recognition of the water sector’s “plans to deliver an unprecedented rate of improvement in leakage reduction” but cautioned that it could “only go so far” and required

concerted efforts by other stakeholders including customers.

“We need a substantial decrease in per capita consumption of water the IPPR said adding: “This requires a step change in public attitudes towards water from across policymakers, manufacturers, retailers and the general public.” It called on other stakeholders including political leaders to reflect and amplify public messaging campaigns regarding good water usage.”

The think tank highlighted what it saw as shortcomings in planning and development – saying “much more must be done to mitigate the impact of new development upon water demand.” it went on: “At present, water companies are not statutory consultees on individual planning applications, and they are not legally required to be part of

strategic planning processes. This needs to change."

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