Peter Bell's letter (NCE 27 July) dismisses the Water Grid as ludicrous. This is surely not in the spirit of Brunel.
Conditions have changed greatly since the 1960s and 1970s when Mr Bell was involved in Grid studies, namely an increase in population, especially in the south east; below recorded levels of winter rainfall in many areas; and a pattern of tropical storms on a 'hitfiandfimiss' basis.
This past month has seen some rainfall so the government can leave these issues 'under the table' for the time being.
Could the ICE back our Water Board members to lobby the government to set up an agency with muscle, comprising regional government bodies, water providers and users, that is properly financed to study all issues of moving water by pipes, rivers and canals.
A number of my retired ICE colleagues are convinced that a Grid should include the Kielder reservoir, which was originally built for the needs of heavy industry.
Our onderful ictorian engineers brought much water through gravity and syphon pipelines. Let us demonstrate that we can still lead, as Brunel demonstrated, and plan for our longfiterm water requirements.
Laurie Uncles (M), 7 Mitchell Gardens, Chard TA20 2HA