2030 The Story of Water
Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink became a common saying some years back. The floods that swirled into Totnes just before Christmas in 2024 caught a lot of people unawares. The Plains had been at risk for a few years by then, but a meter rise in water overnight cut off the access to Fore Street for 2 weeks. A lot of people had previously not made the connection between flooding and the drinking water getting contaminated, but after that episode we were all very much more on the ball.
The floods were quite widespread that winter. We were pretty lucky in Devon, but Oxford and Somerset were caught very badly. Diptford was pretty wet for a couple of weeks but that soon cleared when we all spent a day digging a channel together. The children really enjoyed sloshing about in their wellies and of course getting a day off school.
The water is so much nicer now that we have re-opened the local springs. We had quite a battle to get the aquifers into community ownership, but the changes in South West Water resulted in them being very pleased to lessen their burden. The water is so clean and fresh and really tastes nice. All that chlorine can’t have been doing us any good. We all use a lot less water now anyway. Everyone has their rainwater butt for the gardens and since we had grey water systems put in we don’t waste much at all. What we really don’t miss is the water bill. It got very expensive and it seemed mad to be bringing water half way across the county when we have so many aquifers right on our doorstep.
The Leechwell at Totnes got a lovely makeover and looks really very beautiful now. I believe the marble for the surround was recycled from an old manor house, it really sets off all the carvings set around the well. People come from all over to see it and taste a drop. It was a good job we had kept that well and the pumping house, both put back into good working order these days.
Our water co-op committee is planning to build a village tap so that we can use it for drinking water and to put in a horse trough. A lot of people have been asking for a trough now that we have so many horses, mules and donkeys back in our midst. I think the design we will come up with will be very attractive. We are hoping to create a water feature next to it, which will drain back along to the flood channel we built. The Parish Council are hoping to get us some finance, but with so much local help and local materials we won’t need to spend much money.
Ernie Walsh, Diptford
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