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Sh*tstorm – dumping raw sewage in rivers
But nationalisation alone would not be a panacea. Large investment would still be needed and the savings made by ending excessive salaries and bonuses wouldn’t cover the cost of improvements.
Absolutely and precisely why I said:
That had absolutely nothing to do with the reason for privatisation and everything to do with deliberate underinvestment by the Thatcher government. By the time water was privatised Thatcher had been prime minister for 10 years and investment was a fraction of what it had been 20 years earlier
None of that undermines my comment that water and sewage provisions were essentially seen as “free” before Thatcher’s premiership, as the costs were buried in people’s local authority rates bills. Today I know people who seriously struggle paying their water bills.
Privatisation has not brought cost savings to consumers as it was very clearly stated that it would.
As far as CSO discharge is concerned privatisation was never offered as a solution to the problem at the time. And why would it be? Where is the evidence that privately own companies are more sensitive to environmental issues than publicly owned ones?
The report being withheld from publication predicted the state of the privatised water industry today, and warned against private equity being allowed to move into water firms.
It was prepared for the Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets Authority, CMA) in 2002 and has never been published in full. It should have been released under the 20-year rule last summer, but despite repeated attempts to have it published it is being kept secret.
Today, as private equity dominates ownership of the water sector in England, bringing with it high levels of debt and underinvestment leading to sewage pollution, water shortages and leaks, the author of the report has called for full disclosure of his warning two decades ago.
I would honestly deter anyone from swimming in UK rivers and the sea at the moment, especially in England. It will make you ill.
It’s a combination of factors coming to a crescendo:
Privatisation – taking the money and not investing
Crap govt – Rishi doesn’t care, so gave us Therese Coffey
Bad local decision making – unregulated number of agri/industrial discharges
No enforcement by EA – too focused on flood management
Climate change, increased population, old pipes, wet wipes. These are minor issues which can build over time, if ignored.
BUT, the water companies can invest – Thames Water are building a new huge pipe in London, for example. They need us to make it happen.
One way is to separate surface run-off (gutters etc) from sewage. That would reduce the pressure in heavy rain but i’m not sure how workable it would be in practice.slowoldmanFull Member
One way is to separate surface run-off (gutters etc) from sewage. That would reduce the pressure in heavy rain but i’m not sure how workable it would be in practice.
It is workable. Separated systems (foul and storm) are the norm these days but there is a huge stock of old combined systems. Converting them all to separated would be an enormous task. Cheaper and less disruptive to upgrade existing storm overflows to reduce foul discharge to watercourses. Still a huge task but it is feasible if there is a will.roneFree Member
But nationalisation alone would not be a panacea. Large investment would still be needed and the savings made by ending excessive salaries and bonuses wouldn’t cover the cost of improvements
Government can always pay.
It doesn’t need to save or obtain money to spend large amounts.
You are, as are lots of people a victim of the deceit of successive governments claiming they can run out of money.
Water is a fantastic example of the con-job that has been done on us all about private v state-ownership.
This stuff is done to transfer wealth from the state to a few people at the detriment of us all. That’s the only purpose it serves.
The water companies are excellent examples of being wrong footed on the lie that is the private sector allocating resources more efficiently (by not allocating them) – which when you consider our it’s our life blood – should be a crime.
I think we will get there on this one. Just need some politicians with spines that aren’t ideologically wedded to being led by failed markets.jimfrandiscoFree Member
No enforcement by EA
Good reason for this.
Over the last decade the EA have had their funding reduced by approx 60%, with a decline in staffing of 25-40%. In that same period the number of prosecutions they’ve brought against offenders (of all sorts) has dropped by 88%.
The only body in place to police the issues has literally been rendered powerless by the same government that blames them for not doing enough and they’re now almost completely reliant on citizen science to follow up on issues.
You’ll now only see very prominent black and white cases of legal action from the EA as they will only go to court if they’re 100% certain of a win – they can’t risk losing as there’s just not the funds.
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