For those who may have missed the news, it appears that the South East of England is suffering from a drought. Stop sniggering at the back. It’s true, our green and pleasant land TM is now, it seems not so green in certain parts.
At least, that is what Thames Valley Water company would have us believe. It’s been in the news so it must be true. Those of you living outside of the UK may baulk at the suggestion that any area of the UK can possibly experience drought conditions. London records 4.9cm of rainfall per month on average, whilst Dubai has 10.7cm. Per year. And they seem to manage.
So how can this be so? Do Londoners absentmindedly forget to turn off taps? Well, you know Henry, the character from the children’s song There’s a whole in my bucket? Of course you do. Well, it seems that, now he has grown up, he is actually the CEO of Thames Valley Water. And now that he hasn’t got dear Liza to complain to for his water shortage, he is telling Londoners that they must be wantonly wasting our most precious resource. How could we?
Well, we can’t of course. The water companies seem to conveniently overlook the fact that they lose water every day. In fact, Thames Valley Water, actually loses 669.9 million litres per day! And unbelievably, they have even blamed women who shave their legs in the shower for wasting water! The bare-faced cheek… of the water company, that is, not the women.
Whilst it is true that there has been below average rainfall for some time, there is no way that the reservoirs would be lower than usual if they just fix the leaks in the pipes. Even if they don’t, and let’s face it, they won’t, they don’t seem to have noticed a rather large water source, that stretches for 215 miles and could help ease the shortage. Yes, the River Thames. It’s in the name of the damn company!
So, rather than blaming hairy women, gardeners and quite possibly fish, for their selfish use of water, how about Thames Valley Water actually refrains from insulting our collective intelligence and invests some of the hundreds of millions of pounds profits it makes every year, on upgrading its pipelines to modern-day standards?
Then we can avoid becoming a laughing stock. Or having to pipe in water from more water-rich countries… Such as Sudan. It could happen you know.
Having lived through 10 years of drought, trust me, I know what 4 minutes showers and a limit of 155 litres per day per person are like.
Get ’em to fix those damn pipes before you are piping in water…………….
Oh, so you must have lived in London then? 😉
I agree the leaks must be fixed and perhaps they could do this more efficiently. But we must take the log out of our eye before we try to take the splinter out of theirs. Thames Water customers use 2,600 million litres of water per day so the leaks are 25% of this. Therefore cutting down our water usage will have the greatest effect, and it’s easier to do.
Thames Water spends £500,000 EVERY DAY fixing leaks. Considering how much it costs to get anything practical done in this country, I’m not surprised they’re putting water bills up. They manage 20,000 miles of pipes including 18 million joints. This length of pipe could circumnavigate the Earth. Many of the pipes are 150 years old and to fix/replace them all would require closing Greater London off for years at great cost to the economy – then people would really get mad at them.
Even if we took every drop of water out of the River Thames and left it bone dry, it would only provide 20% of current demand in that area of England. Thames Water already pump millions of water out of the rivers Thames and Kennet every day, and the river life is suffering. They should reduce the pumping, not increase it as you suggest.
You cannot give Dubai as a good example. Dubai suffers regular water shortages and has imposed irrigation bans, despite their citizens being more frugal with their water use than we are by whole order of magnitude. They get a lot of their fresh water by converting sea water which requires vast amounts of energy, at great cost to the environment.
What do I think? Filling private swimming pools, long power-showers, hosing down motor cars – unacceptable. Shaving legs in the shower… hmm… well I do like girls with shaved legs! But there’s nothing wrong with turning the tap off until it’s time to rinse.
Thames Water should get their act together, but so should we.
Can’t say I disagree, although it makes more sense to divert water from areas of the UK to the SE, like I heard they will be doing shortly. I know there are many leaks so it would take a long time to fix them, but allowing the pipelines to get into a state of disrepair whilst raking in the profits is hardly a good excuse for not being able to fix them quickly!
I agree it does make sense to bring water down from the North West where it’s so wet. At least for the next century or so until our climate becomes like that of Spain, where they now have massive arguments about such schemes.