Australia has water restrictions because it’s a desert country and it’s suffering from a drought (away from Airlie Beach, that is—there are no restrictions in Airlie Beach). England has water restrictions because companies such as Thames water waste 198 million gallons of water through leaking pipes every day (that’s Thames water alone! —Evening Standard, 31/01/2007, p.12). They have failed to address this problem satisfactorily so far, and now one of their bright-spark corporate lawyers has devised an alternative solution to the problem: legally, TW is only obliged to supply water up to street level—so they have reduced pressure in the pipes. If you have an upstairs bathroom or don’t live on the ground floor, tough, you’ll have to install a booster pump at your own expense (ditto).
Ironically, Thames Water was recently acquired by an Australian bank.
Oh, it’s good to be back!
I’m not saying that Australia is without fault. The way they manage their water makes me cringe. The verdict about water treatment in NSW is that people ‘won’t drink sewage’ and Queenslanders are up in arms about it too. Meanwhile, drinking water appears to be used in heavy industry.
I would still move there in a heartbeat. But John wasn’t overly impressed. However, when we got home, half of the escalators in the airport weren’t working (try stumbling up and down those things in a zombified state after an 11 hour flight at 4 a.m. Japanese time…), we had to wait nearly 2 hours for the bus and it was freezing. To cheer ourselves up—and while the house was warming up—we went to the pub, bleary-eyed though we were. It was packed, but there wasn’t anybody there that we knew, apart from Hamish the landlord, who gave us a brief grunt, too busy to talk. When we were displaced from the table by a bunch of cribble players, we left.
Today, the skies are grey. The eucalypt tree in the garden has blown over.
I’ll be updating the blog, but entries will be backdated, so have a look around later.