Ed Derrick’s views on what might be done with the proposed water grid (19 October, page 40) are interesting.
One must assume that the government estimate of £6-9bn takes into account suitable routing and disruption, but its claim that this is four to 10 times the cost of local solutions is questionable.
One Thames Valley water project alone is estimated at £1bn and there are more than 20 water authorities. Given that a water grid can deliver water to anywhere in the country, the cost comparisons appear to be based on shaky foundations.
Everybody would endorse the comment on waste through leakage and the advantages of reducing the leaks, but the government’s own view is that leakage rates are unlikely to be reduced before 2030 and they are running at about 25%. As such, a water grid completed within 10-15 years would appear to be a sensible and workable option.
Use of meters can only assist in reducing wastage. Readers might be interested to learn there was a government consultation earlier this year on discharge limits on taps in new buildings, which excluded a requirement for meters, because another department was carrying out a study on this!