12 May, 2006

Splashing out

As the drought situation gets more serious, everyone across the Southeast of England is now being encouraged to sign-up to a kind of social contract or code to limit our water consumption. It's a fairly tame document, truth be told, chiefly because everything it lists is just common sense. However given the fact I'm continuing to see people flouting the hosepipe ban on an almost daily basis, maybe a gesture as mundane and functional as this will do the trick.

Something needs to happen, that's for sure; there are stupidly sinister mutterings doing the rounds about shipping water down from the north where it's supposed to be "all over the place", or building one huge pipe to siphon it all out of the Lake District when nobody is looking. I know, it's facile and far-fetched, but said with just enough menace to hint at real feelings of enmity building up inside the capital.

London is a terribly insular place, ostensibly plural and diverse, in reality fiercely territorial and snobbish. If the city hasn't got enough H20, so the argument goes, it's not because of the weather, it's because the rest of the country is being too greedy. The steady drip drip drip of this kind of talk is really doing no good at all, but it will go on, not least because there's precious else to flow in its place. Let alone water.


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