The Water White Paper
HC 374, Second Report of Session 2012-13 - Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'The Water White Paper (HC 374)' reports that Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) must work with the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) and the Environment Agency, to urgently tackle abstractions which are already causing severe damage to our rivers.
The Committee heard persuasive evidence about the environmental damage caused by over-abstraction. The reform of abstraction licenses must be brought forward as the Government's current plans to reform the abstraction regime by the mid-to-late 2020s will not take effect rapidly enough, given that our rivers are already running dry.
The Committee reports that the White Paper also fails to set a target to increase levels of water metering, and highlights debts in the water sector that add up to around £15 per household per year. Defra must implement existing legal provisions rapidly to tackle this problem.
Proposals to increase competition in the sector are also examined, concluding that Defra should set a clear target date for opening a competitive retail market for water, and should take account of lessons that can be learned from Scotland. The Committee believes that the White Paper's proposals will fail to deliver a well-functioning retail market and suggests how to remedy this.
The Government needs to take action to encourage the development of Sustainable Drainage Systems, and implement the relevant outstanding provisions of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, if it is to help reduce the risk of future flooding.
|Format||Paperback||Published||05 Jul 2012|
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