Europhrenia – Let’s drink to water scarcity

May 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Brussels has warned that Europe is facing water scarcity and droughts, and not just in the drier Mediterranean countries,” writes the EUobserver. A report from the Commission states that even the Czech Republic and Belgium are at risk, with “water scarcity” reported even in these reputedly dribbly places. What might be the solution to the problem? As the EUobserver notes, the word from the Commish is that increasing the price of water might be a good start. Said one spokesman “We consider water to be a commodity like anything else”.

Researchers now warn of “water poverty” i.e. those who can’t afford to pay for their water consumption. What happens in that case? Will bailiffs charge into your home and padlock the mains? Will WCs be exempt or will the flush not work either? One measure the executive is urging on people is “to use less water while showering”. By extension, you could just shower less. As a male of the species, I put in one per day as a gesture to my wife, the colleagues I share an office with, the strangers I sit on the metro beside. But perhaps this needs revising. What is sure, however, is that “water poverty” cannot be of a genteel kind, since it will come with its own distinctive waft.

Some other solutions spring to mind. Drinking more alcohol during meals or on breaks or just cooking everything in alcohol. After reading Goethe’s Conversations with Eckermann a few years back, it struck me that Germany’s genius was putting back at least three bottles of claret a day and could still make his way to the desk and find a pen to knock out Faust. On a nineteenth century note, if you do a wine bottle count for the opening lunch in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, it must be about seven pints between pals Levin and Oblonsky. I have also noticed as a football fan that water tends to collect around the goal area in early spring, so practising dives and flying headers as a means to attain personal hygiene might be useful. There is also bumming “showers” off friends who work at the Commish, or any EU body, since these appear to be only places of secure employ for the considerable future. They could always create a mechanism to claim tax credits off “water gifts”. But I’ve forgotten, they do not pay tax either.

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