Water – liquidity and scarcity

 

A chara, – I see from your front-page report “1.2 million homes hit by water crisis” (March 7th) that the general manager of the national agency charged with supplying water to consumers, Eamon Gallen, has asked that “customers conserve supplies where possible”. The country needs far more people like him. More Gallens of Irish Water. – Is mise,

GARY LYNCH,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – In his recent speech criticising Brexiteers, John Major made the point that it is “as necessary to speak truth to the people as it is to speak truth to power”. Kathy Sheridan sees this as key in progressing unpopular but necessary policies (“Why are water charges still up for discussion?”, Opinion & Analysis, March 7th). While the point recognises the need for responsible engagement in public affairs, I am not sure a lack of information, or truth being told, is the problem. Facts were as available as factoids and fake news in the run-up to Brexit, as well as in our water debacle. If we are prepared to believe that fresh, clean water from the tap is a natural right because it rains, and not a hard-won, costly engineering achievement, it is not because we don’t know better. Our tendency to reject complexity in favour of slogans that flatter our sense of entitlement leaves us wide open to being exploited by people who are happy to tell us what we want to hear. Populist propaganda is palatable by design, but it panders to the worst elements in all of us. It can seriously undermine a society’s ability to make sacrifices important to its long term wellbeing. Truth must be spoken, but when we neglect our responsibility to listen properly, democracy suffers. – Yours, etc,

COLIN WALSH,

Templeogue,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – We have had the inevitable water crisis.

Politicians are strangely silent on the issue. Is it possible that we will all realise that while the concept of “general taxation” sounds non-threatening, it will not fix our creaking water infrastructure? Bring back water charges and stop the nonsense. – Yours, etc,

MARGARET LEE,

Newport,

Co Tipperary.

Sir, – Those who hastily turned their Irish Waters refund cheques into wine might consider converting them back to water now! – Yours, etc,

HELEN NOONAN,

Ranelagh,

Dublin 6.