Suggestion Of The Week

For those of a certain vintage, the current long hot summer and the absence of rainfall brings back memories of the summer of 1976 and water shortages. That drought was a long time in the making, the culmination of a long period of minimal rainfall that started in April 1975. By April 1976 the situation for the water supply industry and farmers was precarious.

After a baking hot July and August, the then Prime Minister “Sunny” Jim Callaghan, had a brainwave and appointed the Small Heath MP Dennis Howell as Minister of Drought on August 23rd. His brief was to encourage Britons to use less water by sharing baths, something he claimed he did with his wife, and putting bricks in toilet cisterns.

By modern political standards, Howell’s appointment was an outstanding success. Within days the heavens opened, producing a traditional (very) wet Bank Holiday weekend of blessed memory and many areas experienced floods. The crisis was averted.

If it worked then, surely it would now. Just a thought.

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