Desalination is needed

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CLIMATE change should prompt the government to be more adventurous and build desalination plants at strategic sites on our coastline.

The Wash with its strong tidal surge could well be ideal for processing sea water for drinking and other purposes in times of urgency.

More than two centuries ago a plan was conceived at government level to build a barrier and road across The Wash from Norfolk to Lincolnshire and converting sandbanks into fresh water reservoirs. Sea lanes to King’s Lynn, Wisbech and Boston remain open.

With or without a barrier, the geological advantages of The Wash are underestimated. The practicalities of the scheme were considered too expensive and fell victim to short-sighted political reasoning.

The Wash could prove of immense ecological value to the Midlands, the Fens, Lincolnshire and a large part of East Anglia served by tidal force with immense potential of the rivers Witham, Welland, Nene and Great Ouse.

Desalination plants adjoining the tributaries could serve a dual purpose combined with water turbines units generating power under the same roof.

It is estimated there are 15,000 desalination plants in the world and they are proving their worth. Australia is considering major use of desalination plants and other sea fringed countries are interested too. Why not Britain? Expensive? Initially yes, but of great benefit in the long term.

Relying on energy from foreign sources is fraught with risk. There is too much political meddling and every chance of quadrupling fees from foreign companies. Wind power is unreliable, wave power practically constant.

Sending monies to regimes and Europe’s rapidly failing political behemoth should stop and be spent in putting our own house in order. We need management free from foreign interference.

A good start would be ensuring adequate water supplies all year round, a reliable energy source and far less ruinous political involvement in so many things aliens to our way of life.

TREVOR BEVIS

March