Star comment: Time to be sensible about the way we use our water

Water stocks are dwindling. We are unlikely to have much rain in the days ahead and the drought is likely to intensify.

Parts of Southern England are already facing a hosepipe ban as gardens, parks and public open spaces become scorched. The brown spaces that were once green grass tell their own story of persistent warm, dry weather with little rain.

The position in the Midlands is not so severe and there is no imminent threat of a hosepipe ban.

Even so, to avoid the prospect of being asked to ‘grass up a neighbour’ by reporting those who are watering the garden with a hose, we can all do the right thing now.

Water is in short supply and we can take individual responsibility to conserve stocks should the situation continue to deteriorate through the rest of summer. We can be more sensible about the way we use water, a personal policy that all of us will have to embrace in the years ahead as climate change continues to accelerate.

It is also necessary for the Government and water companies to ensure water supply is more robust in the future. We have failed in recent times to ensure we have an independent energy supply, which is one of the reasons for the sky-high inflation and ongoing cost-of-living crisis, that will worsen over the next 18 months.

Stemming leakages is one obvious answer, changing the environment, such as planting trees to tackle water run-off, is another. Major infrastructure is also needed. We need more reservoirs so that when we have a wet winter, that rainfall is stores more efficiently to get us through summer. Desalination should also be explored.

Every year people from the West Midlands end up in trouble either in the mountains or on the coast. This can often come because of a lack of awareness of the dangers or because people are simply unprepared and under-equipped.

Ask the Snowdonia Mountain Rescue of the RNLI at Weston-super-Mare who they must often rescue in the summer months and they are likely to point to our region. The golden rule is to research the dangers before embarking on a walk or a swim. Take advice and never push the boundaries. It is not worth risking your life for a quick thrill.

There should also be a reflection of the costs involved of rescue. They are colossal, as highly-trained individuals risk their own well-being in order to assist those who have been reckless and knowingly endangered themselves. We must all pause and think first.

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