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How the UK's first lockdown changed water habits – and risked shortages

By Cecilia Alda Vidal, PhD student in Human Geography, University of Manchester
Alison Browne, Lecturer in Human Geography, Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester
Ruby Smith, Research Assistant in Geography, University of Manchester
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Though it may have escaped the public’s attention at the time, the three months from late March to June 2020 were exceptionally challenging for water providers all across the UK. The sudden changes in personal routines that greeted the onset of lockdown influenced when people showered, cleaned and looked after their homes and gardens.

With offices, restaurants and other public places closed and everyone but essential workers told to stay at home, water companies struggled to balance supply with the unusual patterns of domestic demand.

It didn’t help that the period was…

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