How to keep the taps running

The future of London’s water supply will be the main topic of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers annual lecture, set to take place at the Royal College of Physicians on Monday 16th May.

The event is designed to stimulate forward-thinking discussions supporting industry best practice and this year will centre around the prediction that London will need one-third more drinking water by 2050. Speaking on the issue will be Dr Chris Lambert, Senior Technical Advisor to Thames Water, and Dr Priti Parikh, Associate Professor at the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, and the discussion will focus on population growth, climate change, and reduction in water availability. Possible solutions include new reservoirs, transfer of water between regions, water reuse, desalination, and improved catchment.

Presenting plans to keep London’s water supply functioning through 2050, Lambert is responsible for developing Thames Water’s long-term investment strategies for water supply demand planning. This includes the company’s Water Resources Management Plan, Drought Plan and input to Water Resources South East regional plan.

Recently recognised by Apolitical as one of the 100 most influential academics for government policy, Dr Parikh will focus on global water challenges and raise important questions. She is founder director of UCL’s Engineering for International Development Centre which carries out research into water-sanitation-energy solutions and has industry experience of design and delivery of infrastructure in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK.

Commencing with refreshments at 5:00 pm, the evening will include the lecture followed by a drinks reception and dinner. A vote will be held to confirm whether attendees believe that by 2050 Londoners will be drinking water supplied by WRSE water companies or water provided by outside sources. Tickets are available for the lecture only, with light refreshments (priced £25) or for the lecture and dinner (priced £80).

For more information about the annual lecture and how to get tickets for the evening event, please visit

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