Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Water, water everywhere; all the money down the sink

Christopher Booker succinctly explains where all of the money has gone.
It made front-page headlines yesterday when Baroness Young, the head of the Environment Agency, warned that we all face soaring water bills to pay for the deficiencies in "infrastructure" brought to light by the recent floods. As most of us are aware, water bills have already been soaring in recent years. But by far the greater part of that money, as I reported on May 13, has been spent, not on repairing pipes and drains, to avoid floods and provide us with extra water, but on complying with three over-the-top EU directives on water purification.

As the Government admitted to Lord Pearson of Rannoch, these directives have so far cost us no less than £65 billion, leaving the water companies with only £14 billion to spend on infrastructure. One could not, of course, expect Baroness Young to explain this. But for anyone genuinely wanting to know why our water infrastructure and flood defences are in such poor shape, this is where they might start looking.

And to add insult to injury...
Meanwhile, with that uncanny grasp of reality for which it is legendary, the EU has just produced yet another "strategy pape" on water. Published as large parts of England were becoming submerged, its purpose was to propose drastic measures to combat the "water scarcity and droughts" brought about by global warming. The proposed measures range from compulsory water metering to devices restricting the amount of water used in taps, showers and lavatory cisterns.

For fuck's sake, really, can we leave yet?


Prodicus said...

"One could not, of course, expect Baroness Young to explain this."

No. Telling the taxpayers the truth is no way to work the quangocracy job-creation system.

Umbongo said...

So crassly ignorant are our quislings, I would not be surprised if Baroness Young does not even know (or would not care very much if she did know) about the £65bn spent at the behest of our real rulers.

Edwin Hesselthwite said...

Ah, the old classic "Britain (today) has problem A, most of Europe has problem B, let's jump up and down and scream that its all Europe's fault"... Not your finest hour Devil, not your finest.

So, in order to more conclusively discuss this I'll bring up a couple of issues: while such deluges as this years are excellent at filling up reservoirs, Britain's aquifers (particularly the vulnerable ones in the region of Lincolnshire) require sustained periods of water to refill, and in some cases (particularly the aformentioned Lincolnshire ones) cannot refill due to their morphology. Its all a matter of hydrogeology. The drought problem really has nothing to do with a years good rainfall, and immediately piping in with an EU measure as if its the guts of the problem is frankly ridiculous.

On the other hand, £65 million IS a lot of money, so I attempted to backtrace this story... The EU "strategy paper" can be read here. It makes interesting reading, but really has absolutely nothing to do with our current debate. The details of the £65 million cannot be found in the internet because they are the contents of a private letter between Lord's Rooker and Pearson that is not in the public record. Or to put it another way: a crap source of information that just represents a big number to beat people over the head with but no actual information.

Devil.. You can do better than this.

Mark Wadsworth said...

That Lord Pearon is worth his weight in gold if he keeps digging up stuff like this.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"Ah, the old classic "Britain (today) has problem A, most of Europe has problem B, let's jump up and down and scream that its all Europe's fault"... Not your finest hour Devil, not your finest."

Au contraire, Edwin; it is a wonderful illustration of why centrist rule over such a huge and varied area of land is doesn't work and thus should not be done.


Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...