Thursday, November 09, 2006

The continuing problem

The Environmental Minister, Cristina Narbona, told the media that the government is looking for ways to encourage 'responsible' use of water and is considering the possibility of setting a new limit to domestic consumption.She went on to say that the new plan would tax 'excessive' use of water. Her interpretation of 'excessive' means that a daily limit per person of up to 60 litres could be applied. According to the new plans, all water consumed in excess of this limit would be charged at a higher rate than the usual price of water.

Reaction to the Minister's declarations has been mixed. The majority of people here are perfectly aware of the serious problem of water shortages and the need to reduce consumption and save water. However, many question the fact that the first measures taken by central government are aimed at domestic use, rather than tackling the hundreds of kilometres of rusty, leaking water pipes all over the country or the continuous growth of new golf courses needing constant watering in some of the driest regions. Agriculture accounts for 77 percent of all water used.

Note: The average toilet uses 12 litres of water per flush and a 10 minute shower uses about 120 litres. Add to this cooking, washing clothes and other similar activities involving the use of water and it becomes apparent that Ms Narbona skipped maths and science lessons on her way to becoming a politician. And anyway, its not a new idea! On 3rd August 1866 the very first 'water law' passed in Spain decreed that every Spaniard would be guaranteed a minimum of 50 litres per day. Such is progress!

Taken from the Round Town News

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