Drought is on the verge of becoming the next pandemic

Tim Smedley in The Guardian:

During the summer months in the Oxfordshire town where I live, I go swimming in the nearby 50-metre lido. With my inelegantly slow breaststroke, from time to time I accidentally gulp some of the pool’s opulent, chlorine-clean 5.9m litres of water. Sometimes, I swim while it’s raining, when fewer people brave it, alone in my lane with the strangely comforting feeling of having water above and below me. I stand a bottle of water at the end of the lane, to drink from halfway through my swim. I normally have a shower afterwards, even if I’ve showered that morning. I live a wet, drenched, quenched existence. But, as I discovered, this won’t last. I am living on borrowed time and borrowed water.

Water stolen from nature, drained from rivers and lakes and returned polluted, allows me to live this way. It will have to stop – not through some altruistic hand-wringing desire to do better, but because even in England this amount of water will soon be unavailable.

More here.