Looks like Ken Livingstone wants to impose metering of everyone's water in a bid to reduce wastage. At his weekly press conference, our Blur-collaborating Mayor suggested that compulsory metering was the only way to reverse London's growing demand for the much-loved liquid. He'll be discussing his ideas with the government later this week. In the shorter term, expect to hear lots more about saving water over the next few months; a major campaign to enthuse Londoners with hydrological parsimony is about to be launched. Says Livingstone: "I want Londoners to make small changes to save water without affecting their quality of life." These include some very sensible measures such as to shower rather than bathe and to use buckets rather than hosepipes when washing cars.
The Tories, unsurprisingly, were quick to issue a rather petty response to the plans. In a press release today, they lampooned one of Ken’s more eccentric suggestions: "not flushing the loo just because you have a pee". According to London Assembly Conservatives spokesman Roger Evans:
"Water use is clearly an important issue but the Mayor is being a tad alarmist with his request that Londoners do not flush the toilet unless it is absolutely necessary. If the issue of water usage is so great that we have to consider such unappealing solutions then why has the Mayor waited so long to act."
The Tories at City Hall seem to have a urine fetish. Over the past month, they’ve issued press releases on the consistency of tube workers’ piss and the nocturnal urination habits of bus drivers. Well, you can’t spell lavatory without those crucial last four letters.
Toilet humour aside, water shortages could soon be a serious issue, and the increased awareness promised by the Mayor's campaign can only be a good thing. Londonist will be doing our bit by drinking neat whisky, and showering with a special friend or two.