Money is root of our water woes

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AFTER sloshing our way through the wettest April on record, welcome to May with icicles on it!

It’s winter again. Everyone’s hunched down in big coats and rushing around.

And there is the threat of even more rain and, in some parts of the country, floods.

But that is no consolation for the poor folk who run our water companies. You see, it’s the wrong kind of rain.

It just isn’t falling at the right rate in the right places.

So the hose pipe bans continue... and their Lordships are getting agitated!

The House of Lords Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment EU Sub-Committee published its ‘Indispensable Resource’ report.

Chaired by the multi-millionaire Lord Carter of Coles, it paved the way for massive increases in our water bills.

Its actual words were: “The Government must allow the cost of water to increase where other measures to tackle water scarcity have failed.”

So we are going to have water rationing controlled by price.

If you can afford it, you can splash as much water on your car or runner beans as you like.

If not, tough.

Nice to know that their Lordships are in tune with how the rest of us live.

We are at fault and we must be made to suffer.

No suggestion of taking the people at the top of the pecking order in the water companies and ask them why they haven’t done more to ensure water is where it is needed when it is needed.

Even though Dame Yve Buckland, chairman of the Consumer Council for Water, says it’s time for the industry, its investors and shareholders to find the money to keep the taps running.

And there is plenty that could be done. For instance firms are allowed to waste 25 per cent of treated water through leaks and it is estimated that something like 726 million gallons are lost every day of the year, enough to supply 7.3 million families for a day.

But if money is the answer to this, then I have another idea: rather than penalise people for simply doing what they have always done, why not surcharge the bosses of our water companies?

They are paid eye-watering salaries for running these companies but, quite frankly, they are not delivering a service we have a right to expect after pumping something like £100 billion into the industry through our water bills.

But hold your water, as they say in these parts.

When was the last time you heard of someone in such positions of authority, public, private or a hybrid of the two, who was made to pay for their mistakes?

They just don’t.

That became clear when Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England admitted that he failed in his duty to help prevent ‘the worst recession since the 1930s’.

He was able to make such an astonishing admission because he knows that the governor of the Bank of England, nor any of the dithering idiots who coaxed the world’s economies to the brink of disaster and beyond, are bomb proof.

In fact, most of them continue to rake in the most amazing salaries ever while the rest of us pay the price. And turn off the taps at the same time.