So we’re in drought and there’s a hosepipe ban. Doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been out walking almost every weekend of the year and only once do I remember rain. I’m sure this used to be a rainy country. Now the winters are colder and crisper than they used to be and all the rain comes in July and August, washing out our summers. The north Norfolk show last year was a complete washout, monsoon conditions.

Already the top soil in my garden is bone dry, and I’ve noticed roots of trees in the front and back gardens for the first time protruding from the ground sufficiently to be grazed by the lanwmower, as the ground slowly, subtly contracts. And yet over 20% of the UK’s treated water is lost through leaking pipes.

Truly this is a leaky, creaky, old Victorian country with a shiny designer gloss patched over its failing infrastructure. Every time I turn on a tap I marvel at the miracle of pure, clean water on demand, mine to drink, cook and wash in. For how much longer, I wonder…

Drought on the Thames Water website

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