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Free course

Water in the UK

Free statement of participation on completion
Water in the UK Copyrighted Icon


Please note: This is course is due to be archived on Monday 6th March 2023. You can study the course up until this date. For learners who have completed the course, the Statement of Participation will remain in your learner records in your OpenLearn profile.


Water is arguably the most important physical resource as it is the one that is essential to human survival. Understanding the global water cycle and how we use water is essential to planning a sustainable source of water for the future. Globally, there are many areas that do not have enough water to support the current population adequately. Decisions will have to be made on the best way to use water in a world where there is climate change. This free course looks at Water in the UK where water supplies are limited in certain areas, as shown by recent droughts.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe how water is used in the UK and the organisation of water supply and sewage responsibilities and legislation
  • explain how the demand for water in England and Wales has changed between 1971 and 2001, recognise the factors involved in predicting future demand including climatic change, and discuss the importance of predictions and their limitations
  • discuss variations in the amounts of water used in different parts of England and Wales, and how water might be used more effectively. Contrast the proportions of surface water and groundwater used for the public water supply in different areas in England and Wales, identify the main aquifers, list the possible schemes for increasing water supply in England and Wales, and discuss their suitability.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 25/07/2018

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