LETTER: Who pays when water demand exceeds supply?

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The Independent Online
From Ms Liz Reason and

Mr Stephen Andrews

Sir: Three years ago, we built an environmentally friendly house. We wanted to make it not only energy efficient but also water-efficient.

We therefore approached Thames Water for details of water-efficient appliances. In spite of several attempts, none were forthcoming.

We are now being bombarded with homilies about how to conserve water because we have entered drought conditions. Strange, isn't it, how information about water-demand management is only available when the water supply is in crisis? Could this be anything do to with the fact that the regulation of water companies links their profits to the volumes they sell? Historically, all of the utilities have concentrated on increasing supplies, even when it is more costly than reducing or managing demand. No doubt, we will soon witness the water companies using the present crisis as evidence for the need for them to build more reservoirs.

Is it naive to hope for a change of policy from the companies, the regulator and the Government? Or, once it has rained, will all this be forgotten - until the next crisis?

Yours faithfully,

Liz Reason

Stephen Andrews