Drought!

Am I the only one who thinks that the fact the last couple of decades 10 million increase in the UK population is in the area currently in drought (coupled with the fact many have drifted south in search of work) and the fact there has been no increase in water storage capacity in that region could possible be correlated?

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weaversmiths's picture

Drought

weaversmiths | | Permalink

I totally agree.  More and more houses are being built without the remotest thought of where the water is going to come from.  Here in the South East we seem to always be short of water despite huge rises in Southern Water's prices plus much evidence of unrepaired leaks.  I can see a future of standpipe delivery every summer if the situation doesn't change;  as planning permission is given for evermore  dwellings, offices and factories.  Are there no realists in government or local council planning.  I often feel grateful that I am of later years and unlikely see the outcome of the actions of idiots supposedly running this country (all 3 main parties).

TheAncientOne

thisistibi's picture

Why oh why

thisistibi | | Permalink

Why is there not a national grid for water.  I simply don't understand..... is it just cost?  If so, cancel the ridiculous Birmingham rail link and put a national water grid in instead.

Not just water ...

JC | | Permalink

Water is just the most current and obvious result of population explosion in parts of the UK - however, it also applies to

  • NHS - the UK has become the 'Worlds Health Service'
  • All services - waste disposal, roads, infrastructure etc.

Great migration & influx of foreign nationals etc. is always a tricky subject to broach without having any debate shut down on discrimination grounds

Nevertheless unfettered population movement into the UK from the EU (in theory 800 million have access to the UK) and other countries is an issue. The huge disparity between average wages in countries of the EU (Romania $300-400 pm) coupled with the UK benefit system makes this country an attractive proposition

The National Geographic had an interesting article about birth rates in developed / undeveloped countries. The upshot was that because of mortality rates in undeveloped countries, there is a far higher birth rate to compensate. Broadly speaking when people migrate from an undeveloped county to a developed one, the high birth rate is maintained for many generations until it stabilises in line with that of the indigenous population - this results in not only a population explosion (reduced mortality rate) but also alters the population balance in certain areas of the country because of nationality polarisation

@thisistibi - a few years ago there were plans to bring water down from Kielder Revervoir etc. in the north - subsequently cancelled; probably because we had a wet summer at the time

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Thing is ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... when it is cold and snow everywhere, why not scoop it up and dump it in the reservoirs, rather than let it all runaway - when we had daytime temperatures of >-5 for a number of days you are not going to loose much through melting!

Alternatively, or simultaneously, when the melt water engorges the rivers, why not pump water out to top up the reservoirs?

To this layman it seems a planning and management problem rather than a lack of precipiitation.

Personally, I think all the utilities should be re-nationalised (at nominal value) to ensure all income is re-invested in infrastructure rather than being stripped out by foreign investors.

Water Company CEO's ...

JC | | Permalink

Amazing thing - before water companies were de-nationalised the CEO salaries were in the region of £60-70pa

Within a year they were at the £300k level

Reason given - if you did not pay the salaries then one would not get the calibre of person

But - there were the same CEO's who had been quite happy with £60-70k 12 months prior

??? eh

thisistibi's picture

@OGA

thisistibi | | Permalink

Scoop up snow and put it in the reservoir?  Are you serious?  The cost would far exceed any benefit..... have you ever tried melting snow and seeing how much water it produces?

I don't think the problem is capturing the water... the problem is distributing it around the country....

thisistibi's picture

Really?

thisistibi | | Permalink

JC wrote:

Amazing thing - before water companies were de-nationalised the CEO salaries were in the region of £60-70pa

Within a year they were at the £300k level

Reason given - if you did not pay the salaries then one would not get the calibre of person

But - there were the same CEO's who had been quite happy with £60-70k 12 months prior

??? eh

You mean that while  the water companies were still nationalised, they had CEOs?  I don't think so.  Perhaps you meant that they promoted the heads of regions into CEO roles in the private companies?  Which basically, they didn't.....

Interesting about Kielder Revervoir though, I hadn't heard that. Another actually useful project abandoned....

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Interestingly ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... it doesn't seem the water companies are to blame!

http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/proposed-reservoir-oxfordshire

I think capture is as big a problem as distribution. I remember 1976, we holidayed in North Yorkshire and levels were so low the old buildings in the valleys flooded to create reservoirs were showing substantially above the waterline - and population was a lot less then: as was per capita consumption.

 

Figures ..

JC | | Permalink

@thisistibi -

'.. You mean that while the water companies were still nationalised, they had CEOs?  I don't think so ..'

For simplicity the term CEO was used as generic term - split distinction before/after

Example - links to backup

Yorkshire Water Authority (Chairman)

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1989/feb/13/yorkshire-water-authority-chairman

Sir Gordon Jones

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sir-gordons-terrible-year-1527181.html

1995 - '.. But there were some crumbs of comfort, namely a pounds 189,000 salary, a pounds 160,000 profit dividend, and the prospect of a pounds 381,000 pension ..'

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/yorkshire-water-boss-quits-1527169.html

'.. his salary has virtually quadrupled from pounds 54,825 to pounds 189,000 ..'

So in effect we have a leap from £54K to £189K + £160K = £349K + pension

Previous posting not too far off beam then !

thisistibi's picture

Interesting

thisistibi | | Permalink

@OGA - V interesting... that decision is looking pretty bad now!  But how much does a 100Mm³ reservoir cost exactly?  And how much would it cost to put in a North-South water pipeline?  A reservoir would (presumably) only benefit London, whereas a pipeline could benefit the whole South East...

@JC- Looks like I have to eat my words.  That is appalling.  The concept of using a private company is presumably that it would manage itself more efficiently than the government - which clearly they have not in this case.  It's really a bit sad as a country that we are so rubbish.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

As Thames Water wanted to build ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

thisistibi wrote:

@OGA - V interesting... that decision is looking pretty bad now!  But how much does a 100Mm³ reservoir cost exactly?  And how much would it cost to put in a North-South water pipeline?  A reservoir would (presumably) only benefit London, whereas a pipeline could benefit the whole South East...

@JC- Looks like I have to eat my words.  That is appalling.  The concept of using a private company is presumably that it would manage itself more efficiently than the government - which clearly they have not in this case.  It's really a bit sad as a country that we are so rubbish.

 

... I assume it will benefit all TW customers - If they have the money and budget to build it, and they see it as necessary then to be blunt sod the rest of them, it is up to the respective water authority to cater for its own customers, but as it happens, that covers most of the south east!

http://www.thameswater.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg/corp/hs.xsl/13480.htm

Not saying that is the right approach, water should be a nationalised utility planned on a national scale, but under the current set-up TW only has a responsiibility for its own customers, i.e me :o).

weaversmiths's picture

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics (again)

weaversmiths | | Permalink

Interestingly, once more! We were on holiday in Otley in 1995 when Yorkshire had its so-called water shortage.  A local garage owner informed us of an unusual sight - the reservoir near Blubberhouses where the water authority had drained it leaving a flooded village above ground once more.  They hadn't drained the whole reservoir, just a part of it by building a huge dam.   Ruined cottages a bridge, church etc could be seen.  When we returned to the South we saw the report of the Yorkshire Water shortage on the news for weeks and how their reservoirs had dried up - what did they show in evidence?  You guessed it, the one they had damned and drained. 

All a load of old whatsits there for the manipulation.

TheAncientOne

Purple_Pig's picture

National water grid ?

Purple_Pig | | Permalink

thisistibi wrote:

Why is there not a national grid for water.  I simply don't understand..... is it just cost?  If so, cancel the ridiculous Birmingham rail link and put a national water grid in instead.

 

 

With the water company's record on repairing leaks it just wouldn't work.

They would pump millions of gallons from the north, and by the time it got to the south it would be down to a mere dribble. The rest would be flooding fields along the route of the pipe.

BKD's picture

National Grid

BKD | | Permalink

thisistibi wrote:

Why is there not a national grid for water.  I simply don't understand..... is it just cost?  If so, cancel the ridiculous Birmingham rail link and put a national water grid in instead.

Excellent idea. If/when Scotland gets full independence, they can use revenue from water supplied South to replace that lost from oil once the wells dry up. In fact, given that there's so much of the stuff north of the border, price it right and no-one in Scotland need ever work again ;)

Purple_Pig's picture

Unemployment    1 thanks

Purple_Pig | | Permalink

BKD wrote:

 price it right and no-one in Scotland need ever work again ;)

 

If you look at the employment statistics most of them don't anyway.

 

BKD's picture

You need to keep up with the news    1 thanks

BKD | | Permalink

Purple_Pig wrote:

 

If you look at the employment statistics most of them don't anyway.

 

From yesterday's news:

The unemployment rate north of the border now stands at 8.1 per cent - lower than the UK average of 8.3 per cent

And certainly better than Wales - 8.9%

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