I’ve misplaced my university fluid mechanics textbook to remind me of the formulae for flow resistance in pipes, but I can’t help feeling that pumping water round the country would be expensive and energy inefficient! The emphasis needs to be on reducing everyone’s consumption. How about removing VAT from spray taps that use less water?
Paul Russenberger, London
Fine the utilities for the massive wastage from leaks, with the fines being paid from directors’ bonuses.
Dave Santon, Leamington Spa
With abundant water in the country as a whole, suppressing demand seems an affront. Suitable engineering of infrastructure would allow us all to enjoy that abundance.
Tim King, Tamworth
Privatised water companies cannot be “forced” to invest. Government-sponsored mega reservoirs such as Kielder and associated pipeline interconnections would be a great start but sadly the planning process takes years. Alternatively pipelines could be run south along railway lines and trunk roads perhaps. Installing water meters alone is hardly the answer.
David Thornton, Aberdeenshire
You’re asking if they should complete the national water grid that got axed when the utilities were privatised. And we get to pay even more when the profits have been taken? I’m all for this as long as it falls on the southern water companies cost-wise. Tongue taken from cheek – doing both is the sensible approach, plus seasonal charging in the water-poor regions.
Dominic Mooney, Wetherby
I wonder what proportion of available water is used for domestic consumption? I suspect most water usage is agricultural and industrial plus leakage! On this basis the focus should be to minimise usage by the main consumers.
Steve Howlett, Macclesfield
Yes to both. The water companies have made massive profits with minimal investment. Climate change is showing that we can and will get water shortages so we need to be able to manage them. If people choose to live in the south for the obvious benefits they believe it gives them, then they need to pay for the privilege.
John Hopkins, Aberdeen
With a growing population and new houses being built in the south all the time, a redistribution of water becomes the next logical step. Presumably the redistribution of people is harder to do. Though I see the BBC is having a go!
Dan Ninan, Loughborough
North-to-south national pipe networks should be installed, paid for by southern water companies of course. And each litre of precious water travelling from north to south should be sold at a suitably inflated price to enable investment and drive opportunity in the North. The UK seems insistent that the free market should prevail, so let it do its thing.
David Hudson, Sheffield
They should fix the leaks. If your car was losing a third of its petrol through a hole in the tank or fuel line, you’d fix it, wouldn’t you? Up here we are sick of propping up the soppy southerners!
Robert Newton, Whitley Bay
Both – this should have been done before now. It shows what happens when private enterprise is given the opportunity to provide public services.
Gordon Neilson, Glasgow
Either of the options is addressing only the symptoms. What is needed is a policy that encourages people to move to other areas of the country where water is more readily available and creating employment in areas that need it.
Colin Devereux, Bristol
I can never work out why water meters haven’t been made compulsory, so now is the time for politicians to take the plunge! In addition, new housing developments should be made truly sustainable through planning regulations making approaches such as rainwater harvesting and reuse of grey water compulsory.
Nick Schulkins, Winchester
It is not either or, it is all plus. Tighter development planning controls are needed to ensure infrastructure can support the proposed application, or the increase in infrastructure should be funded by the proposed plan. Technology that consumes less water is also a factor which will benefit in lower power used, and the ensuing CO2 benefit. We are not going to change the climate, so we must engineer how we live with it.
Mel Plumridge, Chelmsford
Fancy London restaurants are charging over £3 for a bottle of water – at that price the South is welcome to as much of the North’s water as it can take. Redistribution of water and wealth in one go.
Steven Buckley, Newcastle upon Tyne
Water meters encourage more efficient use of scarce resources and apportion costs more on a pro-rata basis.
David Marchant, Cambridge
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