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More Deben conflicts

In the comments to yesterday's Deben thread, Lord Beaverbrook notes that Deben's chairmanship of Veolia - a company that he says is mainly involved in installation of water meters - is doubly problematic. Lord B notes two statements on the website of the Committee on Climate Change:

Based on the application of the assessment toolkit in the ASC's third report, the ASC advises that the Government and water companies should take further steps to increase efficiency in water use, including through water metering and pricing. Increased uptake of meters will be particularly important in locations with current and future risks of supply-demand deficits.[Link]


We must take adaptation more seriously if we are to manage the growing risks of floods and droughts. This can be done by investing more in flood defences, faster roll-out of water meters and giving serious consideration to where and how we build our housing and infrastructure. Without action by households and businesses to prepare for these inevitable weather extremes the country faces rising costs, unnecessary damage and future disruption.[Link]

One wonders about the utility of a letter to the chairman of the E&CC committee, Tim Yeo. Given that his own interests are just as problematic, it is unlikely that any reaction would be forthcoming.

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Reader Comments (13)

It is of particular interest because there appears to be NO justification for any form of 'water saving' at all. Water is NOT a scarce commodity - because it only passes through us there is an infinite supply. The limiting factor on how much water an individual uses is not the amount of water in the world - it is the infrastructure provision which the country provides - for instance, reservoirs.

Surely the appropriate discussion to have is 'how much infrastructure provision is appropriate per capita'? And yet I have asked DEFRA - they say that there is NO such advised figure, and no work going on to obtain such a recommendation. There is only a policy directive that we are to use 20% LESS water in future...

... which is where compulsory use of Deben's water meters comes in...

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Perhaps Owen Paterson or John Hayes would care to pass an early comment to the media to establish their intentions as to the governments position on impartial advice received from independent committees. Just a little something that news journalists could use to 'break the ice' with the ministers, if they were so inclined to do so.

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

"it only passes through us"

I recall a science class statistic from school, intended to illustrate molecular scale, viz. that, assuming they were evenly distributed, a glass of water would contain around 200 molecules that had passed through Julius Caesar. Sorry, but it stuck.

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Bish - I think it's 'Veolia'.

"A partner for people and planet" according to its website!

Sep 5, 2012 at 9:46 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

From comments on earlier Deben threads, it would appear that the man is a great deal more powerful than his appearance would suggest.

I wonder what the incentive would be for those who could potentially stand in the way of his ambitions.

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterjerrym

"Without action by households and businesses to prepare for these inevitable weather extremes the country faces rising costs...." Is nobody in government bothering to read the papers contradicting the inevitability of such extremes? At least in the near or medium future. I imagine these members of the great and good walking around with ear plugs and blindfolds, muttering 'oh calamity, calamity.'..

Sep 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

" We must take adaptation more seriously if we are to manage the growing risks of floods and droughts."

How would they explain the glaring contradiction in that sentence where they are apparently saying that we are going to have both more rain and less rain, as presumably the cause of more flooding and more droughts? With a failure like that of not seeing such an obvious paradox, confidence in anything else that they state has to be very low.

Sep 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterEdward Bancroft

Christopher Booker reported some time ago that the EU regards water in the same way as energy. Make it scarce, tell the public we are heading for a shortage, push the price up to reduce demand. This may be why there does not seem to be much government pressure on the water industry to create more storage capacity and mend the leaks.

Sep 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Schrodinger's Cat:

I recall Booker and/or EUReferendum saying that the water companies had been proposing new reservoirs serving the South East for years but none had been approved since the 1970s, despite a huge increase in population.

Sep 5, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Schrodinger's Cat & artwest

after a quick google you get this -
BBC news (2003)
"But Baroness Young, Environment Agency chief executive, said: "The point we are making in being pretty resistant to reservoirs is that most companies that put forward proposals for reservoirs are not thinking about how they can reduce customers' demand and manage their leakage effectively as a first step."

She also said if there was a dry winter there may be restrictions on water usage in the spring and summer next year."

Enviroment Agency -
"Climate change, one of the major threats of our time, can only make the situation worse
as longer, hotter, drier summers lead to even greater shortages, with less clean water
when we need it most"

The new Aylesford Reservoir, Kent -
"Building Aylesford Reservoir requires a huge amount of concrete, so after submitting its tender bid along with three other companies, Gallagher Aggregates Ltd was the successful bidder.

The location of Gallagher Aggregates Ltd, approximately 500 metres from the reservoir site, played a part in its successful bid as the carbon footprint of transporting the large volume of concrete is kept to a minimum and local labour can be employed.

In all, Gallagher Aggregates Ltd will supply approximately 2,500 cubic metres of concrete to the site over the year long project."

wonder how much drinking/fresh water has pissed into the sea in the UK this summer ?
if we really have a problem divert it from the rivers before it hits the sea (all year round) or am i missing something !!

Sep 6, 2012 at 12:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

I'm with Dodgy Geezer on the water issue. On a planet on which about 70% of the surface area is covered by water, it seems especially stupid to worry about reducing demand instead of increasing supply. Desalinization is a proven technology. I recall reading a headline a few months ago that researchers have come up with a method using carbon nanotubes that would make desalinization six times more efficient than current technologies. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan desalinates enough water each day to supply 2,000 average homes. So it's not rocket science (well it is, kinda, sorta...). If there are water shortages it isn't because there isn't enough water around. It's because of a lack of critical thinking about the problem. Sadly, there are way too many Luddites around who think that technological progress of any kind is bad.

Links for more information on the above:

Sep 6, 2012 at 1:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterLynn Clark

A bit more Deben I happened to bump into this morning. I don't think he's overly happy with the re-shuffle.

Sep 7, 2012 at 10:26 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Deben: "Separating waste fosters decent citizenship....."

No , it doesn't, it annoys this citiizen intensely, clutters up my extremely small utility room and moderately small garden with containers, litters the streets with gaudy plastic wheelie bins in a multitude of garish colours, attracts ravenous seagulls when the bins overflow and probably isn't cost effective.

Sep 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

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