Flood warnings one day, a hosepipe ban the next… That’s the reality in Croydon in the climate crisis.
Thames Water this morning confirmed what had been widely expected after two months of drought that has seen the source of the River Thames run dry: a hosepipe ban across London and much of southern England affecting 15million customers, to come in to force from next Wednesday, August 24.
The announcement drew criticism of the private company that’s making millions from running a public utility, with City Hall figures blaming Thames Water for its continuing failure to deal with its leaky infrastructure.
Under the ban, using a hosepipe to water gardens or to clean cars will no longer be allowed, except by businesses and farmers.
Sarah Bentley, the chief executive of Thames Water who last year received £2million in salary and bonuses, said the ban had been a “very difficult decision”.
Bentley said, “After months of below-average rainfall and the recent extreme temperatures in July and August, water resources in our region are depleted.
“Customer demand is at unprecedented levels and we now have to move into the next phase of our drought plan to conserve water, mitigate further risk and future-proof supplies.”
But Leonie Cooper, Labour’s environment spokesperson at the London Assembly, said, “Serious questions should also be asked of Thames Water, who have failed to properly tackle the problem of hundreds of millions of litres of water being lost per day due to leaky pipes.
“The Thames Water desalination plant at Beckton, which is meant to kick into action in times of drought, is currently inoperative, and there are even questions about whether it has ever worked at all.
“On top of this, Thames Water bosses are receiving millions in bonuses. It’s not right that customers should face restrictions when water companies have failed to take the urgent action needed.”
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