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U.K. Utilities Urged to Pipe More Water to South, Telegraph Says

U.K. utilities are being encouraged to pipe more water to drought-prone parts of the country such as the southeast according to proposals outlined today by the regulator Ofwat, the Telegraph reported.

Less than 5 percent of the U.K.’s water is currently traded between water companies in different parts of the country, a figure that’s almost unchanged since privatization in 1989, the newspaper said.

Ofwat said it wanted to introduce more incentives for companies to transfer water from areas where it is plentiful such as the north to where it is scarcer like the southeast, where drought led to hosepipe bans last year, the paper said.

Changing weather is making it more difficult to manage water supplies, the regulator said, according to the Telegraph. Four of the U.K.’s five wettest years on record have occurred since 2000, with last year the wettest in England since records began in 1910. Yet parts of England also suffered from drought last year, hurt by driest 18 months in a century, the paper said.

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