Dry coun­try

The Daily Telegraph - - Letters To The Editor -

SIR – Daniel Bent­ley (Com­ment, Novem­ber 13) calls for an in­crease in the rate of house­build­ing, from 200,000 houses per an­num to be­tween 275,000 and 300,000.

How­ever, an in­creas­ing prob­lem which may ren­der these houses un­sus­tain­able is the di­min­ish­ing level of drink­ing wa­ter. Here in the South East, we have had very lit­tle rain since early spring. At the Bewl Wa­ter reser­voir, on the bor­der be­tween East Sus­sex and Kent, most of what would once have been sub­merged now re­sem­bles lush grass plains. We have al­ready had wa­ter ra­tioning im­posed on us, and rivers and aquifers are in­creas­ingly emp­tied by ex­trac­tion dur­ing dry pe­ri­ods.

It will not be pos­si­ble to trans­port mean­ing­ful quan­ti­ties of wa­ter to the re­gion due to the fact that wa­ter is ex­tremely heavy. Even if the in­fra­struc­ture were to be con­structed, the pump­ing of wa­ter would re­quire huge amounts of elec­tric­ity at a time when the grid would al­ready be un­der strain from the planned roll-out of elec­tric ve­hi­cles. Clive Kent

Heath­field, East Sus­sex

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