Act now on water or face emergency queues on the streets, UK warned
-Hosepipe ban and compulsory water metering needed, say advisers, as nation braces for drought

英国警告说,立即采取节水行动,否则将面临在街上紧急排队打水
——顾问们说,随着国家准备应对干旱,软管禁令和强制水表是必要的


(Water levels at Bewl reservoir in Lamberhurst, England.)

(英格兰兰伯赫斯特贝尔水库当前的水位。)
新闻:

A national hosepipe ban should be implemented as a national priority along with compulsory water metering across the UK by the end of the decade.

在这个十年结束前,应该把禁止使用软管和强制水表作为全国的优先事项。

That is the key message that infrastructure advisers have given the government as the nation braces itself for a drought that is threatening major disruption to the nation. Failure to act now would leave Britain facing a future of queueing for emergency bottled water “from the back of lorries”.

这是基础设施顾问向政府传达的关键信息,因为美国正准备应对一场可能对国家造成重大破坏的干旱。如果现在不采取行动,英国未来将面临排队等待“卡车后面”的紧急瓶装水的情形。

The government was warned four years ago by the National Infrastructure Committee (NIC) that considerable new investment would have to be made in the nation’s water supply equipment by the 2030s. Although some improvements have been made by water firms, nearly 3billion litres of water is still lost every day.

四年前,国家基础设施委员会警告政府,到21世纪30年代,国家的供水设备将必须进行大量的新投资。尽管水务公司已经做出了一些改进,但每天仍有近30亿升水流失。

Plugging these leaks will require an investment of around ?20bn, Sir John Armitt, chair of the committee, told the Observer this weekend. Failure to invest now will mean, he added, that more than twice as much will have to be spent on distributing bottled water to UK residents by lorry as increasingly frequent droughts grip the nation.

该委员会主席约翰·阿米特爵士本周末告诉《观察家报》,封堵这些泄漏将需要大约200亿英镑的投资。他补充说,现在投资失败意味着,随着越来越频繁的干旱困扰着英国,用卡车向英国居民分发瓶装水将需要花费两倍多的钱。

“You have to pay for it, one way or another,” he said. “That could be investing in new reservoirs or moving water around the country, as well as stopping leaks.” Water metering is considered by the industry as the best tool for cutting water use – the UK has the highest usage in Europe. It is estimated that water meters have been installed in only about half of households in England and Wales, but these customers use 33 litres a day less than the national average, of 141 litres a day.

“你必须为此掏钱,跑不掉的,”他说。“可能是投资新的水库,或者在全国各地输送水,以及阻止泄漏。”水表被业界认为是减少用水量的最佳工具——英国是欧洲用水量最高的国家。据估计,在英格兰和威尔士,只有大约一半的家庭安装了水表,但这些用户每天的用水量比全国平均水平(141升)少33升。

The call by the NIC was backed by the Rivers Trust, which was one of the key agencies at the emergency National Drought Group meeting the government convened last week as dry conditions spread across England.

国家水利委员会的呼吁得到了河流信托基金的支持,该基金是上周在英格兰干旱状况蔓延的情况下召开的国家干旱紧急会议的关键机构之一。

Mark Lloyd of the Rivers Trust said measures should be taken much earlier than the end of the decade. “There needs to be a nationally coordinated publicity campaign to reduce water use, and universal water metering,” he said. “Low flows in rivers are disastrous for wildlife and, ultimately, we need to take much more care of this incredibly precious resource.”

河流信托的马克·劳埃德说,应该在这个十年末之前采取措施。他说:“需要在全国范围内开展协调宣传活动,减少用水,普及水表。河流的低流量对野生动物是灾难性的,最终,我们需要更多地照顾这一极其宝贵的资源。”

Mark Owen of the Angling Trust said hosepipe bans needed to be extended across the country, after Southern Water became the first firm to bring in a ban on Friday, for the Isle of Wight and Hampshire.

钓鱼信托公司的马克·欧文说,在南方水务公司周五成为第一家在怀特岛和汉普郡实施软管禁令的公司后,全国范围内的软管禁令需要扩大。

“We need to see these bans brought in proactively in many more places,” said Owen.

“我们需要看到这些禁令在更多的地方主动实施,”欧文说。

He criticised the lack of government planning for extreme weather. “There is no strategic, coherent, joined-up approach. The reaction is always kneejerk. What happens when we get to this stage – when it is very dry and hot –is that all of a sudden usage shoots up as people fill paddling pools and water their gardens.”

他批评政府缺乏应对极端天气的计划。“没有战略的、连贯的、联合的措施。人们的反应总是下意识的。当我们到了这个阶段,也就是非常干燥和炎热的时候,随着人们填满游泳池和给花园浇水,使用量会突然飙升。”

Tom Bradshaw, deputy president of the National Farmers’ unx, said more investment in water irrigation, on farm reservoirs and a better plan to manage water resources was needed. “The lack of rain means crops such as sugar beet and maize are showing signs of stress, while there are challenges for farmers needing to irrigate field veg and potatoes. The dry weather has also severely hampered grass growth, which could hit feed supplies for the winter.”

全国农民联盟副主席汤姆·布拉德肖表示,需要加大对灌溉、农田水库的投资,并制定更好的水资源管理计划。“雨水的缺乏意味着甜菜和玉米等作物出现了压力迹象,而需要灌溉农田蔬菜和土豆的农民也面临挑战。干燥的天气也严重阻碍了牧草的生长,这可能会影响冬季的饲料供应。”

Critics say the government has had plenty of warnings, but seems to have taken no action.

批评人士表示,政府已经发出了很多警告,但似乎没有采取任何行动。

“What we are seeing now is that climate impacts in terms of more extreme weather events are happening more frequently and at a greater magnitude than was anticipated,” said Martin Baxter of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. “We have really got to become more resilient to what we know is on the way.”

美国环境管理与评估研究所的马丁·巴克斯特说:“我们现在看到的是,更极端的天气事件对气候的影响发生得更频繁,规模比预期的更大。我们真的必须变得更有弹性,以应对我们所知道的即将发生的事情。”

A conglomerate of government bodies said that major plans were being prepared to improve water storage and transfer across England and Wales. A ?500million scheme called Rapid – Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development – was set up jointly in 2019 by Ofwat, the Environment Agency (EA) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

多家政府机构表示,改善英格兰和威尔士地区的水储存和运输的重大计划正在准备之中。2019年,供水局、环境署和饮用水监察局共同建立了一个名为“快速推进基础设施发展监管联盟”(Rapid)的5亿英镑计划。

“We are now investigating different schemes with the aim of implementing the most promising in a couple of years,” said Paul Hickey, managing director of Rapid.

联盟董事总经理保罗·希基表示:“我们正在研究不同的方案,目的是在几年内实施最有前景的方案。”
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Among the projects being considered are a series of new reservoirs that could be built in different parts of the country and schemes that would allow engineers to transfer water from the north of England, where supplies are not stressed, to the south. These would involve using the River Severn and the Grand unx canal as conduits for fresh water that would alleviate situation in the south of England, which has been worst affected by the drought.

正在考虑的项目包括一系列可以在国家不同地区修建的新水库,以及允许工程师将水从供应不紧张的英格兰北部转移到南部的方案。这将包括使用塞文河和大联盟运河作为淡水管道,以缓解受干旱影响最严重的英格兰南部的情况。

These schemes will cost billions of pounds, however, and are unlikely to be implemented in the next decade.

然而,这些计划将耗资数十亿英镑,而且不太可能在未来十年实施。

July was the driest month on record since 1911, with only 24% of the amount of rain that would be expected in an average July, according to Met Office data. All areas of the country are affected, but in the south and east in particular the conditions are critical – with rainfall this July just 14% of an average July over the decade to 2020.

英国气象局的数据显示,7月是1911年以来有记录以来最干燥的一个月,降雨量仅为7月平均降雨量的24%。全国所有地区都受到影响,但南部和东部的情况尤其严重——今年7月的降雨量仅为2020年之前10年7月平均降雨量的14%。

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, rejected the call for compulsory water metering.

英国环境、食品和农村事务部拒绝了强制水表的呼吁。

A spokesperson told the Observer:
“Water companies have a duty to ensure supplies. That’s why we continue to challenge those with a poor record on leakage and are working to ensure they introduce new infrastructure such as reservoirs and water transfers. We’re also taking forward measures to support water efficiency in homes.”

一位发言人告诉《观察家报》:
“水务公司有责任确保供应。这就是为什么我们继续挑战那些泄漏记录不佳的公司,并努力确保它们引进新的基础设施,比如水库和调水设施。我们也在采取措施支持家庭用水效率。”