Where does all the water go?

Thames Water has been criticised for quite some time now because an estimated one litre in three does not get to our homes due to leakages in its infrastructure. This is often cited as a counter-argument to the imposition of hosepipe bans and the like.

But where does all the leaking water go? Surely it goes back into the system. While there’s an argument for inefficiency in there (the water needs to be re-treated, cleaned etc., thus adding expense to Thames Water and therefore the end user), I’m thinking that fixing the issue would not necessarily help on the water-shortage front.

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