The government has shown its commitment to making sure the country continues to have the supply and quality of water it needs for decades to come.

It has done this by releasing a policy paper that will explore the long-term water needs for public water supplies, agriculture, the power and industry sectors, and environmental protection.

‘Meeting our future water needs: a national framework for water resources – accessible summary’ was published earlier this week, and looks at how to help the environment and ensure England is able to cope in periods of drought so interruptions to water supplies are kept to a minimum.

“The national framework report marks a move to strategic regional planning. It sets out the principles, expectations and challenges for five regional groups (made up of the 17 English water companies and other water users),” it stated, saying these will address the difficulties the country is facing with regards to its water supply, as well as look at opportunities from water resources planning.

Over the next few years, the policy will increase resilience to drought so restrictions, including rota cuts and standpipes, will not be required more frequently than once every half a century by the 2030s.

It will also examine changes to water abstractions to achieve a sustainable regime across the sectors, as well as reduce long-term water usage by cutting non-household demand. It hopes to cut leakage by 50 per cent by 2050, and increase supplies by developing reservoirs, water re-use schemes, and catchment-based work to boost water management.

All these measures could also improve the quality of water available. However, until then, those living in hard water areas who have problems of limescale or irritable skin should consider water softeners in Henley.