So the 2012 hosepipe ban is finally upon us, implemented by seven water companies starting on the 5th of April. After weeks of tweaking their rules to create as little bad publicity as possible, the water companies lay their judgement upon us. All under the threat of “£1000 Fine” for those who don’t obey.
How many people have ever been fined for breaking a hosepipe ban? Difficult to find any in the last 30 years. So how many people will face the £1000 this year? Seemingly that’s up to you and I.
You see the water companies themselves don’t want to do it. A spokeswoman for Thames Water stated recently that they would spend nothing on either catching or prosecuting ‘offenders’. “No, we’ve got better things to do with our money, like fixing leaks.” they said. You couldn’t make it up.
Veolia Water were equally quick to pass the buck, stating: “Usually we would be the people that would take them to court, but it is technically a law. Anyone could do it. If you were really annoyed because your neighbour repeatedly flouted the law and we didn’t do anything, you could take them to court.”
So let’s examine the facts:
1) Water companies lose 3.36 billion litres of water per day through leaks
2) Water companies continue to make huge profits
3) Lack of rainfall over the last two years has helped put us into drought conditions, but fact 1) obviously doesn’t help
4) Joe Public is forced to adhere to a hosepipe ban at considerable discomfort and inconvenience, with a £1000 fine hanging over his head
5) Joe Public is asked to ‘grass-up’ (and potentially prosecute) naughty neighbours, causing who knows what sort of conflict
6) Water companies watch Joe Public dutifully help them continue with their business
Will you prosecute a neighbour for flouting the hosepipe ban rules and effectively become an unpaid employee of your local water supplier?
This commentary was made by a guest writer.