Readers' Letters: We need more reservoirs against water shortages

The most precious resource of any country is water. Water storage is vital to civilisation.
Water tapWater tap
Water tap

Yet the last new large reservoir built in the United Kingdom was Carsington Water in Derbyshire, officially opened in 1992 when the UK population was about 57 million. Now it is more than 67 million.

No wonder water shortages are forecast this summer. So while the government can squander more than £100 billion on the HS2 vanity project and untold trillions on the net zero lunacy, it cannot provide sufficient water for its people.

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What is required is a masterplan to build new reservoirs and pipelines to ensure sufficient supplies as summers become warmer and drier.

In particular, National Park authorities in upland areas should be required to draw up plans to flood at least one valley to provide a substantial reservoir of clean water.

William Loneskie, Lauder


Leah Gunn Barrett describes Gordon Brown's UK decentralisation proposals as "drivel" (Letters, June 3).To be fair, they go against SNP principles, which are to try to control everything from Edinburgh, a long-standing Scottish trait which I fought against when I worked with the NHS in Aberdeen, but the appellation also betrays a fear of Labour, whose likely advances at the next elections will be at nationalist expense.

As far as Westminster having complete control over Scotland, and moving to privatise the NHS and other essential services in Scotland, that is also drivel. Health, education, water, ferries, and the law never needed devolution because ever since the Treaty of Union which left them purely Scottish they have been run by Scots in Scotland.

All Westminster does is provide funding through the Barnett formula, which is so generous that Scotland can, and does, spend more per head on essential services than England and Wales.

Hugh Pennington, Aberdeen

Brexit claims

What a funny sort of democracy we live in in Scotland – and in the UK, for that matter – when the Press defer to opinion polls at the drop of a handkerchief. "Economy, NHS and UK's world standing damaged by Brexit", trumpets your headline (June 3). “More than 1 in 10 Leave voters want to re-join the EU”. Really?

Who, exactly, did "BMG Research" ask? Not me. Your editorial says: "It's too soon to try to get back into Europe", but we are still in Europe, just not the sclerotic, undemocratic EU which we only voted to leave a handful of years ago. Brexit is a process, not an event. Remember that British trade with Australia (to name but one of our overseas markets) fell off a metaphorical cliff when we joined the EEC in the 70s.

A referendum is not a regular event that you hold when the wind changes. Unless, of course, The Scotsman agrees with Scottish nationalists that when you lose a referendum, you just have another one to get the "right decision", then you stop. That is their warped idea of democracy.

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We held the referendums to make a decision in each case and, having made them it is our duty to stick by them, or we end up like the banana republic the SNP would wish us to be.

Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh

Crisis in education

Jenny Gilruth and Fergus Ewing's belated acquisition of the "courage of their convictions" re the parlous state of Sottish schoolswill be cautiously received by teachers, but any " discussion" that will begin the deconstruction of managerialism and the soul-sapping pressure for data and metrics of every kind to soothe politicians and loony political correctness at every turn has drained a generation of teachers.

The parallels in the NHS are only too obvious, with analogous results in staff mental health and morale.

Let no one forget for one minute in this nation that the "attainment gap" will only widen and worsen while inequality in society persists and accelerates.That was never the teachers’ fault but 40 years of neo-liberal regimes blue, red and yellow.

Let’s have a “national urgent coversation" about that at every street corner, cafe, pub, church etc and internal coversations with our own conscience about what we can do for Scotland, not what current politicians can do for us.

Popular sovereignty and "neo politicians" are urgently required, not SNP sycophants and conformists turned " courageous" reformers

(Dr) Andrew Docherty, Melrose

Tunnel vision

Amid all the non-news about Phillip Schofield last week there was a particularly welcome newsworthy item with the announcement of a £470m mile-long tunnel for the A83 near the Rest and Be Thankful. This is long overdue and would have been built years ago in Europe, where these facilities are common.

While the investment is substantial it will mean that traffic will avoid a 59-mile detour and, given the road was closed for 200 days in 2020 alone, it seems reasonable.

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The project should also be seen in the context of a dearth of road construction investment in Scotland over the last five to ten years.

Previously this century there had been significant change with the completion of the M80, M77 and M74 extensions near Glasgow, the M8 extension in Lanarkshire and the A1 duelling to Dunbar. In addition the Clackmannanshire Bridge and Queensferry Crossing were completed.

Since 2017, however, only two five-mile sections of the A9 have been dualled and the A90 Aberdeen bypass completed. There has been no notable new road construction investment.

Neil Anderson, Edinburgh

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