There’s been a fair bit of flooding in the western dales since Christmas. The flood plains of the Aire north of Keighley, and the Ribble north of Long Preston, have generally done their job and held back the water from populated areas further down the valley. When I see all this water lying around I always wonder why we don’t make better use of it, either through creating power or redistributing it to places where water is scarce. Those of us living in areas where there is excess water often don’t realise that in many parts of the country, especially in the south east, there are problems keeping up with demand, not just for residents but for livestock and crops. Surely the billions which look like being spent on the white elephant high speed railway from London to Birmingham, which might knock 25 minutes of somebody’s journey to the capital, would be better invested in a grid system to get water where it is needed? Photo shows a stretch of the Ribble near Settle in flood.

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