AV11-Debbi Evans

Debbi Evans

The Dirty Truth about Water - A silent threat to us all

Carbon Emissions, plastics in our oceans, air quality, energy exploitation, sustainability, droughts, increasing water temperatures, fires,  sea/river flooding  and climate change are on most people’s radar.  However one important essential element goes unnoticed, unspoken and unregulated.  Water.  Who are the guardian angels of our most precious resource? Who is watching the Water Industry? What are we drinking?  Who is our water Minister?  What happens to our wastewater when we flush our toilets or shower?  What impact is this having on us, our families, friends, environment and our planet?  What does the future hold?  Are our expectations being met?  Do we care or do we automatically expect gold standard water provision and disposal because we live in the U.K. a “developed” country?  

Whilst “wastewater and Hydropolitics” may not be an easy conversation and also the “elephant in the room” it needs to happen and today is not one day too soon.  Currently there is no Global Water Governance.  In developed countries where we expect good quality drinking water and sanitation the reality is starkly different.  Planet Earth has NO GLOBAL water governance yet the little known subject of Hydropolitics that affects every single one of us goes be enlarge unnoticed operating by stealth.  Clean access to global groundwater is scarce.  An rapidly increasing global population, urbanisation, pollution, contamination,  energy greedy Governments and Corporations clashing with anthropological interference by us all has contributed to an unsustainable demand for water with an ever decreasing supply. 

In the United Kingdom the business and regulatory context within which water service providers work, is complex, fragmented and unregulated, more importantly until now it’s not spoken about and remains unchallenged.   Privatisation of our water and wastewater industry who are entrusted to perform a public duty are operating under the radar and above the law.  Why?  There is no law.

The consequences are grave.  Flooding from sewer networks in homes is on the rise, drinking water tests are being falsified, soil contamination goes unnoticed, eutrophication rivers, death of fish and marine life, poor quality bathing water and huge damage to our eco system.   What is causing a rise in prevalence of Coliforms, Norovirus, E Coli et al?  Water borne virus and the re emergence of disease long thought impossible is happening.  New virus like Hepatitis E is in our UK coastal waters already, there is no available vaccine, it can and is deadly. These diseases are here to stay unless we act now.

In the U.K. the only regulatory and enforcement power is held by the Environment Agency who are only responsible for rivers and coastal areas not land based creatures like wildlife and humans.  Drinking water although “regulated” by Drinking Water Inspectorate is underfunded, random, unreliable and infrequent in many areas. 

Quite simply our existence, our environment, our rights, our futures and our planets water supply is under sustained attack and is being allowed to go ignored.  The use of hydropower is increasing with dams, canals and watercourses being diverted, eco systems under threat.  The situation is urgent and decades overdue.  We need to REACT now.

Debi Evans is a retired SRN living in Cornwall.  For the past 15yrs she has been exposed to over 100 sewer floods and counting caused by her water company South West Water. Now unable to sell her home or rebuild her life Debi has diligently researched and  challenged the water company who continue to refuse to accept responsibility.  Through her research she has exposed systemic management failure top down and data falsification.  Navigating her way through the myriad of red tape she discovered that there is nowhere to go.  Employing a team of solicitors to go to the EU for Breach Urban Waste Water Directive was her only route of complaint. South West Waters parent company Pennon threatened both Debi and her team of lawyers.   Now as a Domestic Customer signed to a Non Disclosure Agreement by her water company (unprecedented) she is ready to talk about what the water companies don’t want you to know, what is really going on behind dirty, corrupt doors.