Letter: Draining our rivers dry

I was very interested to read your article dated 28.12.2011, with reference to Rain Catchment to Alleviate Drought Conditions, ‘Farm Reservoir Plea’.

I would like to give my total support to the Country Landowners Association (CLA) with regard to this matter. I am a director of a company based in the Chichester area involved in both waste water management (cleaning polluted waters) for discharge to the environment and/or recycling for irrigation purposes and also the harvesting of rain water for non potable uses such as irrigation, toilet flushing, car and machinery washing etc.

I have written to my local MP, Andrew Tyrie, Conservative MP for Chichester (no reply received) on a number of occasions and Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton raising this very issue. Caroline Lucas kindly asked questions in parliament after my prompt (thank you to her for that). However, the Government’s response was rather pathetic. No “future” linked-up thinking there then; so predictable.

It is obvious that all new-builds, both commercial and domestic should be required by law to harvest roof water for non potable usage such as toilet flushing and grounds irrigation. How absolutely absurd it is that “WE” spend millions of pounds cleaning our water to drinking quality standards, only to flush our dung away with it!!!

Farmers/growers (land owners and tenant farmers), simply must be able to excavate and install lakes/reservoirs in the next few years in order that they can continue to provide ‘US’ with a plentiful, cheap (relative) quality food produce. We cannot continue to extract river water and/or sink bore holes for water extraction. We are draining the water table and rivers dry.

British farmers and growers are the back bone of the British Isles and without a plentiful supply of quality food we are at the mercy of the world markets and mass transportation, how miserable a prospect is that?

We have ignored “primary” production for too long and if we continue it WILL BE at our peril. Water defines life itself, and is the basis for our health and prosperity.

Please allow our farmers, horticulturalists to underpin all of us by giving them liberty to capture, store and utilize their own water supplies through reservoir / lake installations.

John Cornick BSc (Hons) Env Biol AMSB, Chidham, Chichester