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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Boiled eggs in the shower? That won’t beat drought

The declaration of a drought in the south and east of the country has sparked new calls to look into plans to pump water down from the lush, rain-soaked north and is a major cause for concern for the Olympics organisers.

As well as thousands of the world’s top athletes coming to town, all demanding hot water for showers and ice baths for aching muscles, there will be hundreds of thousands of spectators and media types watching and reporting who will all want proper functioning plumbing in their hotels.

They won’t want to be greeted with a sign pinned to their bathroom door reading: If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down...

And what about the actual events themselves?

We have a specially-built aquatics centre that could now stand dry and idle.

No swimmers, no divers, no nothing.

Instead we could be watching synchronised paddling.

And the rowers will have to fit wheels to their boats and could push their way along The Mall – or the M25.

People in the south are being urged to spend no more than four minutes in the shower and two water companies are sending out waterproof “egg timers”.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman was forced to declare a drought in the most populated area of Britain after two dry winters in a row have left reservoirs dangerously low.

Some rivers and groundwater levels are lower than in 1976. The Anglia region is already in drought, and more than half of the population faces hose pipe bans in a matter of weeks.

There could be restrictions in London, and most of the Midlands could be declared in drought within the next few weeks.

London mayor Boris Johnson has said the Government should look into ways of piping supplies down from the north and west of the country to the parched south.

I agree and we should get as much as we possibly can for exporting Cumbria’s most abundant natural resource.

But while Anglian Water and South Eastern Water, the main water companies in the affected regions, are looking worriedly at their levels the biggest question remains: Who boils eggs in the shower?

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