Water is pretty much taken for granted in the UK, except when there’s a hosepipe ban in high summer. We regard it as ubiquitous and mundane but as water has become privatised, metered and rationed around the world, its significance is beginning to penetrate popular consciousness. The cost of water is accelerating – at 20% per annum over the last three years in London (Thames Water is owned by an Australian consortium led by Macquarie Group).
But water has magical properties which not even those who steal it from the rest of us for profit understand. To them, it is merely another God or nature given commodity to be exploited for private gain. Water is a commons and arguably one of the most important but, beyond that, its properties could be harnessed for everyone’s benefit and the environment, in a world that was less focused on profit and competition.