Sunday, 12 June 2011

Driest Spring On Record, But Water Companies Profit

Drought conditions are coming but the water companies are not talking about any cuts in supply. Many Rivers are getting dangerously low but it may be because the water companies are putting their profits ahead of the nations health.

Britains water companies are set to gush nearly £1 billion in profits as England and Wales suffer their driest spring since 1938. Northumbrian Water, Pennon, Severn Trent and United Utilities are to report combined annual profits for 2010-2011 estimated at £961 million by analysts at Evolution Securities.
Thames Water posted a figure of £208.5 million.
Wessex Water has pre-tax profits £149.9 million for this year.

Craig Bennett, the policy director of Friends of the Earth, said that successive governments had taken "precious little action" to stop "unsustainable abstractions" and limit building where there was not sufficient water infrastructure.

Parts of England are officially in a drought following the dry spring, say Defra. Areas of East Anglia are in drought, with parts of the Midlands, South West and South East in a "near-drought" state.

In the drought-affected areas, Anglian Water and Cambridge Water say there is no threat to public water supplies. But Severn Trent Water says there may be restrictions if rainfall stays low. And Thames Water, which serves London and the Thames Valley, has reassured its customers that hosepipe bans are unlikely this year.

Both the South East and central-southern region of England have had their driest spring on record. Across England and Wales as a whole it has been the driest spring since 1990, prompting the Environment Agency to issue advice on how best to reduce water use. It comes as large areas of northern Europe are facing drought after one of the driest European springs on record.

EA Advice:
. Let your grass grow – this provides shade for the soil and helps retain water.
I like that one, Ive not got round to cutting my grass yet this year, now I dont neeed to.
. Washing your car with a bucket generally uses less water than using a hose, but do you really need to wash it? Just keep headlights, mirrors and windows clean for safety reasons. I just dont wash my car.
. Don’t let water run to waste while waiting for the water to get hot - collect and use to water plants. Similarly collect the running water in the shower before getting in. My houseplants are drought resistant, which is handy as I forget to water them from week to week.

No mention of collecting rainwater from roofs, showers rather than baths, fitting a low water shower/taps/toilet.
This site has more advice.
Don't leave the tap running while you brush your teeth, shave or wash your hands. This can waste up to 6 litres of water per minute.
Showers use about 9 litres of water per minute.
A 5 minute shower uses about a third of the water of a bath


howard thomas said...

Hi Adrian.
I'm sure you will be interested to know that I can't remember the last time that I washed my old van.
I did brighten it up a couple of years ago by sanding it down a bit and painting it !
That aside, Thames Water's charges are so high partly to fund their loan repayments ! Presumably Kemble Water borrowed much of the money to purchase Thames Water and saddled it with the task of paying off the debt. Very much a case of the public buying the company for its Austalian 'owners'. No common sense there !

Marjory Bisset said...

When water was provatised I could not beleive it. How can something as fundamental to our health and wellbeing as water be truend into a money-making opportunity?

Adrian Windisch said...

Water privatisation was indeed crazy. Selling them to foriegn companies doubly so.