Why water rationing is coming down the pipeline

Body odour could soon be making a comeback. Why? Because the UK government is looking to impose stringent reductions on home water usage. The media have suggested that this might mean the end of power showers, but the limits being mooted in Whitehall will bear down on water use as a whole. This will affect showering, taking baths, hand washing, cleaning clothes, and more.

The plan is spelled out in a new 81-page report put out this week by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Titled Our Integrated Plan for Delivering Clean and Plentiful Water (or Our Plan for Water, for short), the document details how the government intends to plug what it believes will be a shortage of four billion litres per day in the public water supply by 2050. In part, this will be done, under the Environment Act 2021, by cutting household water use from an average of 144 litres per person per day to 122 per person per day in 2038, and then to just 110 litres per person per day by 2050.

Make no mistake, this is a positively draconian policy. Worst of all, it places most of the blame and responsibility for water management on to the consumer – letting the water companies, regulators and the government itself off the hook.

Last month, a House of Lords select committee reported that no new reservoirs will be built before 2029. It also said that water regulator Ofwat has ‘historically given more focus to a short-term desire to keep water bills low at the expense of long-term environmental and security-of-supply considerations’. In other words, the regulator has fallen asleep at the wheel, letting leaks multiply, sewage pile up and reservoirs fall into disrepair. Yet the implication of Our Water Plan is that we consumers are mostly at fault for the water shortages of the future. It is we who must tighten our belts, and we who must install smart meters to ration our use.

Water companies have escaped censure entirely. For instance, environment secretary Thérèse Coffey proclaimed last week that companies guilty of water pollution ‘could’ face unlimited penalties. But, after more than 300,000 sewage spills in 2022, she also concedes that she cannot stop such incidents ‘overnight’.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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