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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK
Living life without any tap water
A council worker delivering bottles of water in Gloucester
Many elderly people have been left without running water
The water shortages caused by the extensive flooding have led to a vast operation to get water supplies out among the population of Gloucestershire.

Some 340,000 people are relying on bowser supplies and bottled water for their everyday needs.

But there has been mounting criticism over the bowser distribution system which, according to an increasing number of residents, are not being refilled often enough.

Kian Worrall, 41, of Barnwood, Gloucestershire, says the bowser on his estate of about 2,000 houses has been empty since Tuesday morning.

"We've got one bowser for all those houses, but that isn't enough. It's just a joke, on the television the police, fire and council officers say they're re-filling the bowsers five times a day.

"Well, they're not."

He added that when he has attempted to call Severn Trent Water, the number advertised on various internet websites "does not even exist".

He said: "We've got a lot of elderly people living in this area, and they're struggling to get water. It's disgusting. This is 2007, not 1707.

"One lady next door to me gets around on an electric scooter, and she can't be expected to go and get water."

There's going to be a riot in Gloucester, frustration is boiling over
Kian Worrall

Mr Worrall, who himself is disabled through spinal injuries, said that he at least is mobile through his car and has been going out to try and find water.

"I went to the Asda in the centre of Gloucester where there was four pallets of water, but the policeman said it was for tomorrow. He had been turning people away.

"My partner and I argued that we needed water now. It was only after a while, when we had been stood there making a noise, that a police sergeant came out and told the other officer to give us the water.

"I've been going to my neighbours, who are elderly, and giving them some of the water I've been able to find."

Mr Worrall said that while he was at the supermarket, there had been a man "covered from head to toe in soot, or dust, or something like that.

"He told the police that he needed to wash, but they wouldn't give him any water.

A empty bowser in Barnwood, Gloucestershire. [Pic by Kian Worrall]
The bowser in Barnwood has not been refilled for days

"He was getting really angry, and people are generally getting that way. There's going to be a riot in Gloucester, frustration is boiling over."

Mr Worrall said that aspects of everyday living had become difficult because of the water shortage, where even things like simply taking his medication has become awkward.

"I have to take a lot of medication every day, some of which I have to dissolve.

"I'm supposed to dissolve them in water, but now I'm having to dissolve them in my mouth, which you're not supposed to do.

"We also have to use bottled water to flush down the toilet, which is a waste, but we don't have any choice."






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