Thames Water

Privatization was the most disgusting, money-driven act the Conservative government carried out, and that's saying something. Privatizing the train system was stupid enough, given that you can now sit on a train owned by one company in a station owned by another on tracks owned by yet another, none of whom will accept responsibility for delays or high ticket prices, because instead they can blame one of the myriad other companies. It's a chaotic, complicated, greedy shambles.

And then there are the water companies. Thames Water has just announced pre-tax (and they'll probably find a way of avoiding paying much tax anyway) profits of £346.5m, yet it loses 894 million litres of water a day to leakage. 894 million litres PER DAY! Sorry, shall I say that again. 894 MILLION litres lost to leakage EVERY SINGLE DAY OF EVERY WEEK! And now they're petitioning for a drought order so that people don't use hosepipes or wash their cars or have too many baths. People shouldn't use hosepipes or wash their cars or have too many baths anyway, but they aren't likely to be keen to listen to a company that is raking in stupendous quantities of money whilst simultaneously losing water by the sea-load.

I realise the story isn't as simple as that. I realise that rainfall and groundwater levels are not related to leakage (or at least only very indirectly) but that doesn't excuse the fact that Thames are making far too much money for their shareholders. Apparently they have over 13 million customers in the Thames Valley region, so if leakage was halved, each customer would have access to around 30 extra litres of water per day. Wouldn't that go some way to alleviating the current water crisis, at least whilst longer term schemes for reducing domestic and industrial water use and reducing water pollution were put in place?