We have the technology

Build more reservoirs:

In a 2020 report, the National Audit Office warned that “if more concerted action is not taken now, parts of the south and south east of England will run out of water within the next 20 years”, while the Committee on Climate Change identified water shortages as one of the five “priority risks” facing the UK.

“That’s the thing that’s going to tip the scales. That’s the proper big one. Because when people start turning their taps on and there’s no water coming out of it, now you’ve really let the cat out of the bag.

“There’s no more kicking the can down the road. And it’s nothing to do with the environment. 25 million people in London and the southeast are now getting perilously close to running out of drinking water.”

But of course people will whine if we do that…..

32 thoughts on “We have the technology”

  1. In other news, the Thames keeps on flooding 🙂

    Obviously not directly connected, since muddy river water can’t be pumped directly to homes, but there’s clearly plenty to abstract to new reservoirs if anyone could build them

  2. Desalination plants could be built too. We could run it on that cheap nuclear power that we also didn’t build.

  3. “Could” being the operative term. The councils and govt have consistently refused permission for water companies to build them. In my part of the world there are approximately 0 reservoirs, all our water comes straight out of the rock – and is as hard as Chuck Norris. Population is increasing and there is constant new development, but no new water sources.

  4. The Meissen Bison

    How do you ‘run out’ of water in a place where it rains? There might not be sufficient to meet demand but since everything is soon to be rationed, why fret?

  5. The councils and govt have consistently refused permission for water companies to build them.

    The bad news – building new reservoirs runs against the EU’s stance on the water supply industry.

    The good news – we’re not in the EU anymore, and can revert to our former UK-oriented water supply policy.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    The bad news – building new reservoirs runs against the EU’s stance on the water supply industry.

    The good news – we’re not in the EU anymore, and can revert to our former UK-oriented water supply policy.

    May main reason for voting Leave. Not so that we could build dams, but because if we donn’t build dams (or do anything else restricted by the EU) our MPs can be held to account and not hide behind the EU.

  7. The Meissen Bison,
    It’s not the quantity, it’s the distribution.
    Weather tends to come from the west, so the rain gets dumped on the first high ground it meets (Scotland/Wales/Manchester and the Pennines). That leaves the east and south east, including London, relatively dry. And London is where everybody (ok, not everybody, but lots of people) want to live.

  8. And London is where everybody … want to live.

    I thought most people in Londonistan were used to living in a desert anyway.

  9. dearieme,
    Yup – both get suggested every few years, and then no one want to pay, and everyone decides it’s not a problem just yet, and kicks the can down the road.
    Coincidentally, last week, I was discussing the Tideway scheme and we were all wondering what happens to the treated water that comes out the end of the sewage treatment process (we all thought it just ends up in the Thames estuary, for London sewers). Piping that to East Anglia for irrigation would seem feasible (it should actually be clean enough to put into the drinking water supply, but that might lack public support)

  10. Desalination plants. Just remembered that Thames Water wanted to build one to supply London, but Red Ken refused permission until the had got their leakage problem solved.

  11. ‘… parts of the south and south east of England will run out of water within the next 20 years”,

    Again!

    We’ve been running out of water all my life, just as we have been running out of oil.

  12. I don’t know the economics of water pipes. When we lived in Oz there was discussion of piping water south from the Northern Territory and the top end of WA, down to Perth and Adelaide. I assume it never happened because, I assume again, it was too expensive.

  13. Back when I was a boy – yeah that long ago – we just built new reservoirs every now and then because the population was growing. And of course the farmers could use a bit of water as well.

    Then came the Greens. There aren’t enough reservoirs to catch the floods when it pours. There aren’t enough reservoirs to supply the water when it’s dry.

    Y’know when we wanted more electricity, we’d just build another power station back then as well!!! And dig up more coal to run it with too.

  14. Boganboy

    I tell you where it all went wrong for Australia. The Thunderbirds episode “The Mighty Atom” where The Hood blew up a nuclear power station and giant radioactive gas cloud floats acrossthe desert. It so traumatised the infant Australian Greens, who thought it was real, that it has buggered your energy system ever since they became adults.

  15. Ely is rather low lying, isn’t it. Make a fine reservoir. It’s not as if there’s anything there worth preserving.

  16. The Thunderbirds episode “The Mighty Atom” where The Hood blew up a nuclear power station and giant radioactive gas cloud floats acrossthe desert.

    I wonder if that was social commentary on the British nuclear tests (yes, we nuked Oz lots).
    In the case of Gerry Anderson more likely exploiting social commentary.

    By the way, it wasn’t a power station, it was a nuclear powered irrigation plant, so topical.

  17. The solution out west is to build honking big aqueducts. You will need reservoirs at the ends to store water. This is entirely a social problem, not an engineering problem. Talk about starving amidst plenty.

    There must be some reason the Romans never built aqueducts in Britain…

  18. Bogan and Otto. Thunderbirds was the greatest television show ever made. Ever.
    25 minute kids’ show, but when Lew Grade saw the first episodes he made them add another 25 minutes because they were so good. Despite being remastered you can still see the strings.

    It’s not so easy to see the strings with the greens but rest assured, they are definitely there, being pulled by those who really are in charge…..

    PJF @12.44, perhaps that is why they went full on mental over covid – nothing to do with being descended from prison officers and everything to do with fallout.

  19. There must be some reason the Romans never built aqueducts in Britain…

    They did build some small ones to take spring water into towns, forts and mines.

  20. I thought most people in Londonistan were used to living in a desert anyway.

    And only used branded bottled water…

  21. And of course we launched rockets from Woomera, probably bits of Blue Streak still litter the desert.

    Quatermass launched his rocket from Australia and it crashed in south London.

  22. I thought there was a desalination plant but thanks to the environmentalists they aren’t allowed to run it unless a certain drought level is run, there was some talk of using it to replenish aquifers at other times but that was also stopped.
    No doubt the greens will point to it being an expensive white elephant that shouldn’t be replaced having hamstrung it in the first place with needless regulations

  23. Plenty of water, just in the wrong place

    If only we had the technology to move water from one place to another….

  24. @Davidsb
    The bad news – building new reservoirs runs against the EU’s directives on the water supply industry

    Much better to let rain go straight into sea rather than through an animal or plant first

    The good news – we’re Allegedly not in the EU anymore

    As each day passes it becomes clearer we are still in EU

    EU making speed-limiting technology mandatory will have ‘knock-on effects’
    and UK has signed up to this

    Bring back the man with red flag – millions of jobs

    @John B, July 4, 2022 at 10:50 am

    We’ve been running out of water all my life, just as we have been running out of oil and gas, coal, food, land…

  25. BniC

    There is a desalination plant at the Gold Coast. It was built when Labor got into power and cancelled a couple of dams. To keep the Greens happy.

    Uses quite a bit of power of course. One assumes it’s one of those things that’ll be turned off when when the wind stops blowing or a cloud goes over the sun.

  26. “Ely is rather low lying, isn’t it” yes but not relative to the surround area. However flooding the fens would turn Ely into an island, which might have a certain advantage.

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