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Glastonbury saves water miles

Think of 177,500 people in a Somerset Valley usually home to a herd of dairy cattle. Think of a large town built out of canvas. Think of the amount of food and water needed to keep that town going – and there are no sewers, drains, pipes or water towers – and remember what goes in must come out! Michael Eavis and his team at the Glastonbury Festival have taken a long hard look at the logistics of feeding and watering a town centre the size of Sunderland – in a field – and realised that that in 2008 the Festival used  168 tankers to carry in water by road and that sewage was being driven off site in a 90 mile round trip to Avonmouth. By 2009 the reliance on tankers had decreased to 108 tankers as the festival took action to reduce water miles by building reservoirs on site and it is planned just 6 tankers will be needed in 2010.  And the sewage – that will be going to a local site within ten miles of Worthy Farm, dramatically reducing fuel use by over 90% – from 2800 gallons to just 250 gallons. The Festival has now completed the installation of the second of two planned reservoirs and Michael Eavis considers the money well spent saying “the water works cost £250,000 and the sewage investment was £45,000 but we will be making real savings and that is forever. To be entirely carbon neutral would be to not have a show at all. But we are attempting to make a difference”. This year’s headiners at the Somerset mega bash, now in its 40th year,  include U2 and Muse.