Alex Fusco: Those thirsting for drama would call this a drought


Related Topics

It was announced yesterday that the Environment Agency has "declared drought" in more than half the country – alarmist phrasing doing little to douse the panic currently blazing across Southern England.

Was there really any need to "declare" drought? Was someone attempting to smuggle it into the country unnoticed? Were we teetering on the brink of a state of drought, and a final week without so much of a trickle of rainfall led to such a monumental announcement? I doubt it.

And "drought"? Frankly, with the richness of the English language, there must be another word to describe a lack of water on such a mild scale. Surely "drought" cannot be used to describe both the situation in East Africa, in which parched earth, famine and cholera threaten the lives of millions, and the slight inconvenience of a hosepipe ban in East Anglia? What next – will the BBC be sending Lenny Henry to Hampshire to make a short film about cracked and malnourished front lawns?

First-world problems do not merit third-world terminology. I don't declare a famine every time the cupboards are running low – I go shopping. Whilst the cost of transporting water apparently renders such an approach impractical, surely it is possible to secure a couple of tankers, from Scotland or Wales, on the cheap? The two countries are notorious for an abysmally high rainfall – they must be hoarding the stuff, saving it for a...oh no, wait.

In order to counteract the effects of such a drought the Environment Agency is implementing a hose-pipe ban across a great swathe of the country. Those caught sneaking out in the dead of night to water their lawn or wash mud off their hub-caps can expect a £1,000 fine. Obviously, EA officials won't actually be prowling the streets at night to catch these criminals in flagrant disregard of the new regulations; instead, they will be relying upon the obsessively law-abiding citizens living nearby, encouraging them to inform on their environmentally-negligent neighbours. As the grass stops growing, the growers start grassing, it would seem.

On a final note, in order to counteract such a debilitating water shortage, the Environment Agency is hoping for a prolonged period of rainfall during the winter of 2012-13. In a country where the climate encourages ice-cream van drivers to emigrate, and the 'cold snap' bites in October and doesn't let go until April, we must now hope for four months of monsoons to prevent another "drought" ravaging the country again next year.

In all honesty, I'd rather take another hosepipe ban.

Alex Fusco is studying English and creative writing at the University of Warwick.

Simon Kelner is away

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Election catch-up: I’m not saying the Ed stone is bad – it is so terrible I am lost for words

John Rentoul

Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living