Last week, your author attended the 5th Annual Conference of the European Water Association in Brussels in my role as part of the Brussels ‘media machine’.
It would be fair to say that European water policy and the related directives are rather “dry” topics, if you will excuse the pun.
There were a number of things that we found interesting at the event and despite what is usually seen on television news, it is actually quite reassuring that such a sober and sensible group of people are trying to find ways to plan for and limit the impact that flooding and other water related problems can have on our lives.
This is one of those subjects where you don’t tend to notice things when they work well, but when it goes wrong, all hell breaks loose - such is our reliance on water and such is it’s power over our environment.
Something did raise it’s head - if only for a moment: financing.
Of course, money is always an issue, if anything needs to be done, someone needs to pay for it to be done. From there, the questions are, “How much?” and “Who?”
One of our interview subjects, Geoff Darch mentioned this briefly. In fact, he said that there would simply be too much to be done with the money available.
It seems - from my brief glimpse - that this could soon become another of ‘those costs’ soon to hit society at a time when society has barely any money to be hit. This would join the list of climate change financing, environmental and green tech investment, bank bailout loans, retirement provision for an ageing Western population and rising medical bills. This isn’t funny anymore!!
I want to say that it’ll be “fine” and we’ll “sort it out”, but there just seems to be too much to fix right now. The financial future for most governments seems bleak right now…