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privatised water companies and floods

(7 Posts)
telsa Thu 13-Feb-14 13:44:27

Interesting article by Anthony Barnett on the lack of investment in water supplies- on Dispatches website for C4 - just another literally shitty thing our state has done to us.

The Environment Agency has taken its fair share of blame for the flooding misery in Somerset , but there is an industry which has escaped criticism. And unlike the quango, it’s not short of a billion or two. Step forward the privatised water industry which has a key role in dealing with our storm and sewage water. In the last six years water companies have made £11 billion in profits from our water bills, surely enough to have stopped its customers from having raw sewage flooding into their homes and down their streets every time there is a heavy downpour.

So where has all our money gone? Well, in the same six-year period water companies – many now owned by overseas and private equity groups - have handed £9bn in payouts to shareholders. It’s not surprising that a growing band of MPs and the former water regulator Sir Ian Byatt believe if they had invested more in our water infrastructure and less on their shareholders, British homeowners wouldn’t be in such a mess.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Feb-14 16:19:56

I think criticism of anyone in this instance is kind of missing the point. No-one could have forecast we'd get two solid months of vicious rain-bearing storms a couple of times a week. Impossible for anyone, whether it's the Environment Agency, water companies or anyone else to put infrastructure in place that would cope with such extremes.

mumtoone Fri 14-Feb-14 12:11:24

Cogito- I agree, the important thing is that those affected get as much support as possible to get back to normal.

Another thing to consider is most of the people affected in Somerset probably have septic tanks and aren't connected to the sewer network so it's nothing to do with the water companies.

telsa Mon 17-Feb-14 21:25:35

Oh right, ok. Nothing to do with the water companies. What an idiot that Anthony Barnett must be. NOT.

telsa Mon 17-Feb-14 21:27:52

And the whole point of a modern society is that it should develop infrastructure, regardless of risk. Otherwise you end up with bridge collapses and the rest, as in the USA, where Loren Goldner has analysed a lacking 3 trillion dollars at least of maintenance leading directly to catastrophe, because of the pursuit of profit above all else.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Feb-14 10:10:41

Infrastructure regardless of risk? hmm So are we building earthquake-resistant homes? Sandstorm defences? Buying vast fleets of snow-ploughs? Infrastructure has to reflect reasonable risk.

telsa Wed 19-Feb-14 17:55:12

well we are now in the top ten of flood liabilities in the world! And it does not come from nowhere.

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