Saving water has saved us from monster reservoir

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It just goes to show – a Hippo or even a house brick in your cistern really can pay dividends.

So, congratulations to all of you – and that’s most of us – who are Portsmouth Water customers.

You’ve done such a good job reducing the amount of water you’ve been using that we’ve been spared the monstrous artificial lake doubling as a reservoir planned for countryside between Havant and Rowlands Castle.

For the moment at least.

And, perhaps, it is evidence that the much more widespread use of water meters has also paid off in the water-saving stakes.

The mile-long, yes one-mile-long, reservoir had been proposed for Havant Thicket, a vital green lung separating those two communities.

But, as we report on page seven today, the reservoir no longer features in Portsmouth Water’s business plan spanning the next quarter of a century.

Managing director Neville Smith says: ‘We have found that water efficiency messages are getting across.

‘We find that people will use less water per head than in the last plan.

‘For our own purposes, we don’t need it.’

That, Mr Smith, is music to our ears. Handel springs instantly to mind.

However, there is still the possibility that one day this mini inland sea will be constructed to supply other south coast water companies, Southern and/or South East.

But until that day dawns we’re thankful we’ve been spared.

And we have to take issue with Hampshire councillor Liz Fairhurst, who represents Leigh Park and Bedhampton. She is disappointed the reservoir will not be built in her lifetime.

She says: ‘It was going to be a fantastic leisure facility. There was talk about having youth activities like sailing, rowing and it being a lovely place to go for a walk.’

We are not Rutland in central England, nor are we in the Cambrian mountains of mid-Wales. We live but a dinghy’s launch from Britain’s sailing and boating capital – the Solent.

And Havant Thicket is already a lovely place in which to walk. The reservoir would have destroyed it.