Now then, there has just been a report on the box about households being given targets regarding the amount of water they use, this is likely start down south and come into being quite soon. This staggers me. The UK is seemingly getting close to a serious situation regarding the supply of water. Or is it? Like just about everyone else in our once fine country I have quite a strong connection to H2O, I need it to live. I love water in all its forms.
Over the years I have given up my time and worked for a few angling clubs as a bailiff. Being a keen angler I saw this as putting a something back, doing my bit. Looking after stretches of rivers or keeping an eye on lakes and ponds taught me a lot about water, and all the wildlife which visits it. There is a lot more to it than you think. So, water, the stuff which keeps us and just about everything else alive. It falls out of the sky (usually during the cricket), trickles down (where else do we hear that particular phrase?) and flows down hillsides into streams and we would all be in a terminal mess without it.
The report I have just watched also states that 3 BILLION Litres of the stuff is wasted on a daily basis due to "leakage", this is enough to keep 20 Million people in good supply. Those are massive numbers and it surely is a staggering statistic. How that amount can be wasted is a huge puzzle to simple me. Thing which really bothers me about all this is that the water companies are now all private. They have to make money, from water. I see making money from water as fundamentally wrong. Seeing people buying bottled water has always seemed to me to be totally unnecessary, where are public supplies of drinking water in towns and city centres? The whole idea that one should fork out when wanting a drink of water in a public place is wrong. Look how many companies are now living off bottled water? we never had bottled water when I was a kid, why the need now? While we are on that, just think of all those plastic bottles, then think about how long it will take for them to degrade. I may be wrong here, but would providing free drinking water in public places not maybe reduce the total that is used and also save an awful lot of long term pollution? Drinking water should not have to be asked for, let along paid for by anyone.
During my time as a "Water Keeper" I have had reason to call the Environment Agency and the Police due to misbehaviour along the river. Usual stuff, motorbikes being ridden dangerously, people trying to evade paying to fish, large amounts of rubbish appearing, groups of caravans tipping their rubbish into the river, dog walkers screaming and shouting abuse at each other (that can be quite amusing), drug paraphernalia, trapped animals, wrecked cars, pollution (usually oil), kids jumping off bridges totally unaware of rocks below the surface, finding snares, and most worrying of all, illegal netting, you would be surprised just how much a large carp can be worth. Not a good list that is it?
I remember when the EA was the NRA- National Rivers Authority- and believe me things seemed a lot better then. These days a call does not actually carry much weight. I intend no criticism here of those agencies at all, I am just being honest. Would you really expect the Police to come out because an angler tells the bailiff to *!!"* Off when asked to pay or told to leave the river bank? They have far more important things to be getting on with. The EA is now struggling with severe cuts to its budgets. Numbers of EA officers are far lower than they used to be. I have met a few of them. They cannot possibly respond to calls like they used to be able to do. Because of lower numbers they have much larger areas to cover, and in truth, they see no hope on the horizon. I enrolled in a national volunteer bailiff scheme which resulted in me getting to know some EA officers. That educated me rather well, I realised that they saw us volunteer bailiffs in the way that warehouse staff would see agency workers being introduced into their working environment, as in not properly trained , and basically there to plug gaps. This I understand fully. All those volunteer bailiffs do a brilliant job with the best of intentions, and get nothing for it. It is a way for yet another government agency to dodge its responsibilities and rely on good will. Sadly, as we are all aware now, the same can be said of the Police, PCSOs and scarily, private forces, Cuts really do have consequences.
I used the phrase "trickle down" earlier, let us dwell on that. Not water, money. Money from water. Well, here is where things become really infuriating. Private companies are and will continue to profit, seemingly by telling us to use less they will look to charge us more, for water, because when push comes to shove money will be top of the agenda. I can think of no other business or industry which could entertain the idea of being so massively wasteful and yet intend to ransom us. We will hear the usual talk of how terribly costly and complicated it is to maintain the systems which transfer the water to our taps. I do not suppose we will hear how much money the executives of said companies will be paying themselves. the following makes good reading, click here
Here is another view of the scandal that is going on , click here. All of this proves beyond doubt that money does not trickle down, it does indeed trickle offshore.
There are a lot of things to be concerned about in our daily lives at the moment I am not sure there is one as important as water. Where will this end, will certain people be given different "targets" to others? Will it depend on postcode or earnings? Will the unwaged be expected to use less? Will those on "in work" benefits be given a slightly higher "target"?, Will those who have several kids be given a discount? I am deeply concerned that banning watering the lawn may well become banning watering the kids who live in depressed areas. If that sounds far fetched, have a minute to think about the NHS, or as outlined earlier the Police, or schools funding, or food banks, it goes on and on.