Thursday, July 19, 2007

Did you know that it rains less in London than in most parts of Yemen ?


"Desalination plant approved for London" is the title of an article by Graham Tibbetts in today's Telegraph.
He quotes a spokesman from the WWF, apparently wearing his "rent 'n environmentalist" hat, who condemns the scheme as too costly, and inappropriate for Britain which he says " is not Yemen and gets lots of rain".

That sent me hotfoot to the keyboard with the following missive:

"This is the UK, not Yemen, and it rains here a lot".

Sorry, Mr. Oates, but you really ought to check your facts before you go talking to the media.

Those of us with a predilection for collecting jaw-dropping statistics have long known that Southend-on-Sea, the driest place in Britain, has less rain each year than Jerusalem.
Out of interest, I have just done a comparison with Yemen.

"Average annual precipitation in Yemen varies from 910 mm (36 inches) to 500 mm (20 inches) depending on the region."

In other words, Southend-on-Sea, with an average annual rainfall of 517mm, is only slightly wetter than the driest place in Yemen with 500mm.

That desalination plant on the Thames estuary is long overdue, and could have been up and running years ago, maintaining the year-round quality of life of those who live and work in London.

It would have been, but for obstruction by the over-opinionated Ken Livingstone, assorted hairshirts and others promoting their allegedly green credentials, whilst ignoring, or ignorant of, the scientific facts and hard reality.

The very idea that Londoners should have to eke out water as though living in a desert oasis is ludicrous."

Posted by Colin Berry on July 19, 2007 6:20 AM


jboldbird said...

i live at southend on sea and have long thought that the rainfall is less than most places in the uk..except for today!

ColinB said...

Hi jboldbird.

Welcome to my site. Did you discover it by chance, or did you spot the correspondence in the Telegraph ? If the latter, you may be interested to know that I've just posted the following somewhat mischievous reply to one David West (hoping he's not the same one who's married to my cousin in Cheshire!)

"With respect, I think there's another environmentally-unfriendly source of fresh water that needs to be considered before being too dismissive about desalination plants. It's invariably contaminated with dissolved pollutants from the atmosphere, killing or stunting woodland trees, defacing buldings etc. It frequently exceeds the capacity of drainage systems to deal with it, causing widespread flooding disruption and heartache in its wake.It leaches nitrates and phosphates out of soil into rivers, reservoirs and into drinking water causing health risks, eutrophication, dead rivers and lakes.

It's called rain. Should not environmentalists subject this stuff which falls from the skies to the same degree of critical scrutiny as they do desalinated estuary water ?"

Sorry to hear about the rare downpours you've been having in Southend,jb. Hope it doesn't damage the palm trees !

jboldbird said...

hi..came across your site by chance..i am ashamed to admit iwas being trivial and rather boastful whken i agreed that southend has a very low rainfall...i wasn't thinking of acid rain i must admit..and there are very few palm trees in southend (unfortunately)..good site bye the way

ColinB said...

I've only been to Southend once, when the children were small. Great day out. There was an air display above the rooftops - I got some amazing pix.

Very neat, clean, orderly place. Slightly old-fashioned feel about it - to be taken in the nicest possible way. I can see why so many folk like living there. Having the UK's lowest rainfall(even if there is a smidgeon of acid being downwind of the Great Wen) must count in its favour too.