As I travelled home from Inverness on Monday it was hard to believe that DEFRA had drawn together agencies and interested parties that very morning to talk about a water shortage, if not the possibility of drought in central and south eastern England. It rained virtually all day, roads carried pools here and there and the journey circumvented various large lochs. Now it seems to me not to be beyond the wit of man to consider, at the very least, the possibility of moving water from areas of excess supply to those areas in difficulty. We move gas across half of Europe for our consumption, and oil and gas out of the North Sea from areas half way to Scandinavia, we move oil from the Arctic southwards and across various deserts, and yet we continue to bang on about about water shortages in the UK when there's a veritable ready supply on the doorstep. I'm sure a quick call to the Salmond Water Supply Company would secure supplies and an end to the problem for all time.
But is the problem greater than it appears? Is not one of the dimensions that, with five year terms of government, eyes are persistently turned to securing the next term in office, and lulling the voters into supporting some short term idea, rather than indulging in proper long term planning regardless of who is in power? Or is it the "lets form a committee to look at the problem" syndrome? All this coupled with a persistent policy of expanding housing and facilities in the South east simply compounds the difficulties. Fingers taken out ( of the dyke wall !!! ) might release a better flow of ideas perhaps?