A Review of the History of Water Service in the UK
1. 0 INTRODUCTION
Water is an essential service that is provided by water companies in the United Kingdom (UK). These water companies are regulated by government and environmental agencies to make sure that the water they provide is of a high quality and safe to drink. The aim of this paper is to review the history of water service in the UK, as well as analyze the water sources, the volumes of water daily usage, and how the data is treated.
2. 0 HISTORY OF WATER SERVICE IN THE UK
The first water companies in the UK were created in the early 19th century, when it became apparent that the growing population and industrialization were putting pressure on the existing water resources. The first water company was established in London in 1805, followed by Manchester in 1826 and Glasgow in 1827. These early companies were Private Companies limited by shares, which means that they were owned by shareholders who could buy and sell shares on the stock market.
In 1930, the London County Council (LCC) took over responsibility for water supply in London from the Metropolitan Water Board (MWB). The LCC then nationalized all water companies within its boundaries in 1948, following the Labor Party victory in the 1945 general election. This led to the establishment of thePublic Corporation of Metropolitan Water Supply, Drainage and Sewerage Undertakings (later known as Thames Water Authority), which was responsible for water supply and sewerage services in London.
The remaining privately-owned water companies were nationalized in 1974, under the Conservative Party government of Prime Minister Edward Heath. This created ten Regional Water Authorities (RWAs), which were responsible for water supply and sewerage services in their respective regions. In 1989, these RWAs were privatized under the Conservative government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, creating ten Regional Water Authorities (WRA). These WRAs were then sold to investors on the stock market and became known as Public Limited Companies (PLCs).
3. 0 WATER SOURCES
The majority of public water supplies in England and Wales come from surface waters such as rivers, canals and reservoirs. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, most public water supplies come from groundwater sources such as springs and wells.
3. 1 Surface Water
Surface waters are those that flow across the land surface, such as rivers, canals and reservoirs. They are also known as freshwater resources. The main advantage of using surface water is that it is relatively easy to extract and treat compared to groundwater. However, surface water can be more prone to pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage effluent and industrial discharge than groundwater.
3. 2 Groundwater
Groundwater is water that has percolated down through layers of soil and rock until it reaches an aquifer – a layer of permeable rock or sediment that can hold water. Groundwater is also known as subsurface or subterranean water resources. The main advantage of using groundwater is that it is less vulnerable to pollution than surface water because it is less exposed to human activity on the land surface. However, extracting groundwater can be more difficult than extracting surface water because it usually requires drilling a borehole or constructing a well.
4. 0 VOLUMES OF WATER DAILY USAGE
4.1 Estimated water usage in the UK
The estimated water usage in the United Kingdom (UK) is about 150 litres per person per day. This includes water used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, washing and gardening. The estimated water usage in the UK has remained relatively unchanged over the last few years, despite a growing population.
4. 2 Per capita water consumption
Per capita water consumption is the average amount of water used by each person in a given country or region. In the UK, the per capita water consumption is about 160 litres per day. This is higher than the European Union (EU) average of about 155 litres per day.
5. 0 DATA TREATMENT
Water companies in the UK are required to submit data on their water sources and treatment processes to the Environment Agency (EA). This data is then used to monitor and regulate the water industry.
The EA uses a number of different methods to monitor water quality, including:
– Sampling and analysis of water samples
– Monitoring of treatment processes
– Inspection of premises and equipment
– Review of operational records
– Audit of environmental management systems
6. 0 CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the history of water service in the UK is long and varied. The current system of privatized companies providing water to consumers began in 1989, but the roots of the industry date back to the early 19th century. The majority of public water supplies in England and Wales come from surface waters such as rivers, canals and reservoirs, while in Scotland and Northern Ireland most public water supplies come from groundwater sources such as springs and wells. The estimated water usage in the UK is about 150 litres per person per day.