No shortcut, please

Some Londoners see reason in Livingstone's arguments. Claire Powell, a psychology graduate living in East London, says desalination should be used in desperate situations and "we are not there yet'. "Thames Water has a terrible record with leaky pipes and water wastage. They should be enforcing low water usage in households and things like water-efficient toilets, showers, dishwashers and washing machines. Also, biofuels are not the answer; using less fuel is,' she says.

Agrees Iain Drennan, a civil servant: "I don't reckon desalinisation plants are a sustainable water solution and I don't understand why London needs one when the indications are that climate change will give us wetter summers that will keep our existing reservoirs full. If England needs a desalinisation plant, then God help North Africa and the Middle East.'