To alleviate water shortages, ministers have vetoed proposals to export Scottish water to England – a proposal once advocated by Boris Johnson.
Last year, Sir James Bevan, head of the English Environment Department, said Scotland could be the solution to England’s H2O issues, as the UK’s southern half is set to run out of fresh water in less than 30 years.
He said England is looking into the “jaws of death,” where diminishing water sources are being outstripped by ever-growing populations.
Climate change implies that if England is to continue to quench its thirst, people will have to slash their water consumption by a third, repair half of all leaking pipes and create major new reservoirs, treatment plants and transmission lines, he said.
In 2014, both the UK and Scottish governments considered a bold plan to tackle water scarcity in the Southern Counties of the UK by constructing a giant “super canal” between the two nations.
This came after the idea that Scotland could help England out with water was floated by Mr. Johnson.
The designs, built by one of the largest architectural and engineering companies in the world, called for a new £ 14 billion waterway flowing across Newcastle and Leeds from the Scottish Borders, winding down the west coast of England and picking up extra water along the way.
The desire of Alex Salmond to sell water to England in order to tackle drought in the south was opposed by leading scholars.
The canal, known as the Natural Grid, will gradually branch out into the Home Counties, with roads leading to the supply of houses, companies and services to Hertfordshire and Hampshire.
Aecom, the company behind the canal project, is proposing the northern Pennines as the starting point, ultimately extending the canal north to begin its path into the Southern Uplands.
The proposals were presented to David MacKay, the chief scientific advisor of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and were under review.
The Scottish government had signaled support at the time for the idea of exporting some of the water resources of Scotland to the south.
But it has now been made clear by ministers that any proposal is only an illusion.
“While Scotland has a relative abundance of freshwater compared to an increasing number of parts of the world that are experiencing water stress due to population growth and climate factors, there are no current plans to export water to England or abroad,” said a spokesman for the Scottish government.
Ministers are aware of the problems of water supply in certain countries, including South-East England, and of the growing concern that water companies in England will need to take steps in the future to ensure continuity of supply in areas where water is scarce.
However, previous research indicates that the selling or transfer, most likely by bulk or pipeline transport of raw water, of water from Scotland to England will not be economic at this time.’ The Scottish government will continue to pursue the issue, however.
Instead, the Scottish Government is committed to making Scotland a ‘Hydro Nation’ where water resources are built to provide the Scottish economy with the greatest value. As a ‘Hydro Nation,’ our global policy is to help other nations make the most of their own water resources by sharing our academic excellence and experience in water economics and water management technology with the
In 2012, in southern England, the government proposed to provide water to drought-affected areas.
Yet ministers acknowledged at the time that, before this could happen, there were tremendous logistical challenges that had to be solved.
Boris Johnson, who at the time was the mayor of London, said water could be exported into a network of canals to the south of England.
It was based on a plan suggested first by J. In 1942, F. Pownall.
“Mr. Johnson suggested building a canal from the Scottish border to the southeast along a natural “contour” along the spine of England, at around 300 feet (100 m).
He claimed that the use of rain from the mountains to relieve the water shortage in the drier areas of Great Britain was an obvious solution to