The great water debate – which has spluttered on and off all year- splashed back into life this week with reports that the Environment Agency is considering the merits of a nationwide water grid.
The idea, which is being backed by the
But there are many in the water industry and elsewhere who will dismiss this as an unsustainable measure. After all, water isn’t like electricity or gas, which can be transported quickly along pipes and cables. Pumping large quantities of it over long distances would be an energy intensive exercise that wouldn’t look pretty in these environmentally constrained times – and the high costs of moving water around the country would be reflected in our bills.
Plus, while people in the North are still free to use their hosepipes, such a surplus of water can’t be guaranteed and any national grid scheme would therefore require a huge reservoir building scheme – another extremely costly and environmentally sensitive move.
And it’s not even as if the
So what is the solution? Others have suggested that for a small island surrounded by water, desalination plants are the answer, but again this would be an energy intensive exercise.
The reality is more mundane. There is perhaps no technological silver bullet. Not, that is, until someone can come up with a way of quickly, cheaply and efficiently repairing pipes in
Features EditorThe Engineer