Friday, April 08, 2011

Every silver lining has a cloud (not)

England and Wales received less than an inch of rain last month, a third of the long-term average, according to the Environment Agency. The situation was especially bad in East Anglia, which is home to a large amount of the country's agriculture and uses a lot of water for irrigation.

But such is the lacklustre performance of our privatised water industry – whose directors are never short of a bonus or two – that this short-term deficiency immediately translates into a massive water shortage. In the South West, Bristol Water has been forced to pump water from the Severn to conserve its reservoirs.

This, of course, is just down the road from Severn Trent Water, which a few years ago got fined for falsifying data on leakage rates.

But, having neglected their infrastructures, and instead spent billions on funding expensive and pointless EU quality directives, plus equally expensive water treatment directives, water companies are now "closely monitoring" the situation so that they can restrict the availability of the product they are contracted to supply, and for which they will continue to charge.