As the rain pours down, our reservoirs fill and hosepipe bans are ended, we must not allow this Act of God – unforeseen, as usual, by the Met Office – to distract us from the utter shambles of our national water policy.
Last month I reported how, since 2007, in response to a Communication from the European Commission, our government has switched the entire focus of its water policy away from building more reservoirs and mending leaks (which every two years waste as much water as all our existing reservoirs hold) to concentrate instead, in face of the droughts promised by believers in global warming such as the Met Office, simply on using less water.
Accordingly, no fewer than five major new reservoir schemes have been scrapped in south-east England alone, where the shortage of water is most severe – two of them last year by our Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman. In obedience to the EU’s guidelines, her White Paper “Water for Life”, full of references to “climate change”, was all about how we must cut down our water usage and use it more “efficiently”, not least by encouraging our largely foreign-owned water companies to make this “precious resource” more expensive.
The fact is that, since the 1980s, we have spent so much – £67 billion in the period up to 2007 – on complying with the absurdly exacting requirements of three EU directives on water quality that we have spent less than a quarter of that sum on “infrastructure”, such as mending leaks.
We have scarcely increased our reservoir capacity at all, despite fast-rising demand and a 10 per cent increase in our population. Now, as we learnt last week, Brussels is planning a new water directive which would require us to spend a further £30 billion on removing from our rivers and water supplies any trace of the hormones in contraceptive pills which are allegedly reducing the fertility of freshwater fish. Just a fraction of that sum could build us a dozen new reservoirs of the type for which Mrs Spelman last year decreed there was “no immediate need”.
The current oversupply of water from our skies may have saved our climate-change obsessed governments in London and Brussels on this occasion. But it is time we recognised that their crackpot skewing of our water policy has become a massive national scandal.
Click source for more [Also by Christopher Booker: The cloud that darkened this 60-year reign was Europe]