Why a hose pipe ban is just plain rubbish

image courtesy of the BBC 

Hose pipe bans frankly make me seethe so on the news that 7 companies, including Thames Water and our own local Veolia Water are introducing one in early April. There are many reasons why it’s stupid, and I know there has been talk of setting up a national grid of water supply so the soggier parts of the country can share their abundance with the rest of us but there is one area that really makes my blood boil: leaks.

Thames Water is a company that loses a third of it’s daily supply of water through leakage, although you’ll never find Thames Water saying it, all you’ll hear from their spokesman is how they’ve reduced leaks. A reduction on a huge figure still leaves you with a slightly less huge figure at the end of the day. The 09/10 figures show Thames Water loses 669.9 million litres of water a day through leakage. Simply put, I could leave my hose on 24 hours a day for 142 years and I would only have used as much water as Thames Water lose through leaky pipes in a day!

In fact it would take around half the population of London watering their gardens with a hose for 20 minutes a day to even approach the amount Thames Water lose on a daily basis. Never mind that half the people in London don’t even have a garden!

It’s one of those farcical ways that companies try and put the pressure on consumers to cover their own problems, like supermarkets pretending it’s through reusing carrier bags that we can save the environment, rather than cutting down the excessive food miles that will see crops driven twice round the country to end up in a supermarket 5 miles from the farm that grew them.

Of course Thames Water will complain about historic underinvestment but lets not forget Victorian systems don’t become old overnight and only last year, whilst pushing for a 16% increase in prices, Thames Water actually sent a dividend of £308m over to it’s parent company in Australia. Heaven forbid they should do anything whatsoever about the leaks that would involve spending money, it’s much better to milk the customers for a few extra quid and stop us all using the bloody thing they’re actually supplying!

What does this mean to us then? We already have a water butt which we tend to use to water the garden from. The likelihood is I’m going to use the drill attachment pump thingy I picked up last year to hook up my hose to the water butt and water the garden that way. Until some busy body shops me for using a hose of course. We have plenty of busy bodies on our estate. The one thing that will be a pain in the proverbial though is filling up the paddling pool later on in the year if we actually get a summer that makes it worthwhile (I remain to be convinced on that one). I shall be doing it via bucket, silently cursing the spin doctors at water companies who somehow have made it the consumers responsibility to cover their own failings.