Call for greater protection for England’s water supply

July 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

A commons select committee has just announced that more action is needed – and fast – if we are to protect the water resources of England.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee, which was chaired by Anne McIntosh, said that more ambitious targets were needed to encourage a greater number of households to install water meters.

As well as improving targets for water meters, the select committee also said that new reforms which control how water is extracted from rivers should be sped up because some rivers are already drying up.

The committee released its conclusions after analysing the government’s white paper on the issue of the UK’s water use over the coming years in the face of population growth and climate change.

Many parts of England have been affected badly by drought this year, and the large water suppliers have only just brought their hosepipe bans to an end. However, at the same time severe rainfall across the country has led to serious flooding.

As well as suggesting clearer targets for water meters, another area which it said needed urgent attention was greater pressure to encourage all customers to pay their bills. Currently, customers who do not pay their bills are adding an extra £15 to every household’s water bill each year.

However, water minister Richard Benyon said in response to the report that he did not believe a “one-size-fits-all solution is the best way forward”, and instead said that “companies should work with their customers to find the solution that works best in their local area”.

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