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Drought in England is official...what is the solution to this natural phenomenon?


Aitchbee

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The lack of rain has meant reservoirs are at their lowest levels for 35 years.

Can 'the North' help 'the South' ?

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Forum Editor

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"Water, even transported a few miles out if its area can be poisonous to the area that it is being moved to - it can kill off the plant life, animals and bacteria that are in the existing water."

Excuse me for saying so, but that's nonsense. All the fresh water in reservoirs is rainwater, and is naturally full of all kinds of organisms. Moved through a pipeline it will arrive in much the same state as when it departed, and it will do no harm whatever to animals, plant life, or bacteria at its destination.

Once it has been treated hygiene is a different matter, but water moved across the country would not have been treated - that will happen before it enters the normal domestic and commercial distribution networks.

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Forum Editor

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**"A national water grid similar to the electricity and gas grids. Just requires the political will."**

And huge amounts of money.

"The other alternative is desalination plants, also requiring political will."

And huge amounts of money.

We have a spanking new desalination plant in London. It's the first in the UK,and one of the largest in the world, capable of producing around 140 million litres of water a day - sufficient for the needs of 1 million people. London's population is increasing quite rapidly (800,000 more people in the next 4 years),and water is becoming a big problem.

It cost a quarter of a billion pounds to build our desalination plant, which has a life expectancy of around 25 years. The water costs about twice as much per litre as that from a conventional water treatment plant.

Desalination isn't the answer to our water problems - the answer is for us all to use less. Each of us uses about 150 litres of water a day for washing and drinking, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. We are the world's sixth largest net importer of water, each of us being responsible for a water 'footprint' of just over 4600 litres a day of 'virtual' water. That's water which is used in other countries to produce the food and other items we import - we're literally consuming huge amounts of other peoples' water.

We're unlikely to stop buying green beans from Kenya,or roses from Columbia, but we could reduce domestic consumption - statistics from other countries show that metering domestic supplies has a marked beneficial effect on consumption.

Our real problem is that deep down we find it hard to accept that,in England at any rate, we live in a relatively dry country - London has half the annual rainfall of Sydney, for instance. We can pray for rain, and move water around the country in pipes until the cows come home, but ultimately we have to start using less of the stuff.

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OTT_B

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This report from the Environment Agency eludes to what I have mentioned about the problems with transferring water from one area to another. See section 3.4. It's not the source I was thinking of when I originally posted, but I can't seem to find the site now. I'll try again tomorrow.....

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OTT_B

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Alludes, not eludes!

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Forum Editor

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OTT_B

Note that the report in your link says that "...any new transfer (of water) would need to be through a pipeline directly to a reservoir"

That's why I said, in my earlier post "Moved through a pipeline it will arrive in much the same state as when it departed, and it will do no harm whatever to animals, plant life, or bacteria at its destination."

I accept that pumping water from a river in one region to a river in another region could have a detrimental effect, but that's not how it would be done. It would be reservoir to reservoir.

Thank you for the link - it's an interesting report.

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morddwyd

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"And huge amounts of money."

That's what I meant by political will!

Governments have to grasp this nettle and spend those large amounts of money.

Since they don't have it they will have to raise it, in the only way they know how, by taxes.

That's where the political will kicks in!

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Input Overload

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Actually parts of the east of England are drier than Israel. I though it was interesting that we expect to get x amount of rainfall & then are surprised when we don't. Weather patterns are not a business & to be frank expecting something that is a natural phenomenon is no guarantee you will get it.

Desalination requires massive amounts of energy & more, also a water grid will take years to complete, neither of these two ideas will be cheap, who is going to pay?

What will you be willing to pay extra on your water bill?

If everyone had a water meter that would be a start, if you don't waste water you have nothing to fear with a meter. If you like your lawn to be green all year round you will pay extra for that privilege.

I now use waste water for my garden, I used to put the sprinkler on when I had no meter I know from experience you use much less with a meter.

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Input Overload

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Sorry, I missed 'Again' so sorry for duplicate ideas.

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Bingalau

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"A water grid will take years to complete" is a very true statement. But this was also realised years ago during previous droughts. So why didn't they get cracking then? The climate is changing, the population is increasing, prices are going up, so the best time to grasp the nettle is now. It is a pity this was not realised then during the last severe drought. It could have been over and paid for by now with a national grid up and running.

As for Scotland, well with climate change who knows? In the (near?) future they could be facing the same problem with their mountains bone dry and no natural water to distill their whisky. (We're all doomed!)

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Bingalau

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By the way, in case some of you haven't noticed. Most of my comments on these forums are tongue in cheek, (TIC) I don't like doing serious.

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