UK water security research attracts £1m investment

The risk that the UK could have a 10,000-million-litres-a-day water shortage by 2050 has prompted the Technology Strategy Board to head a £1m search for water security solutions.

Ten small to medium sized UK companies have been awarded grants ranging from £70,000 to £146,000 to deliver solutions which will help safeguard future water supplies, both at home and abroad.

“It’s hard to envisage we could, in the short space of 40 years, start running out of fresh water,” said the Technology Strategy Board’s chief executive, Iain Gray, whose organisation has contributed almost £650,000 to the water security project.

With current estimates showing the UK having a 10,000 million-litres-a-day shortfall by 2050, however, he added that innovative new technologies and services were urgently needed.

Also supported by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the £1m/10-business project includes several diverse ideas.

One potential development, funded at £146,889, involves a ‘flushsaver’ toilet cistern, designed to eradicate toilet leaks, while another, funded at £63,781, features leak location and mapping in small water mains.

There’s also a £70,026 investment in the development of a dielectric tensiometer to deliver water savings in horticulture and agriculture and £119,402 to create a global water market platform; synthesising past, current and future information on water prices and availability.

edie staff

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