§ Lord AVEBURY
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is their strategy on conservation of water supplies and demand management, and if they will make a Statement.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY of STATE, DEPARTMENT of the ENVIRONMENT (Lord Bellwin)
My Department supports the water industry in its efforts to save water and thereby conserve water supplies. These include the development and use of new methods for locating and reducing leakage from underground mains and services; a comprehensive report on this subject is expected by the end of the year. Methods of assessing the economic level of manpower and equipment to be devoted to the location and reduction of leakage will be covered by the report.
My Department will also continue to support research into reducing wastage from consumers' installations and preventing undue consumption of water. Proven and economic measures for reducing water use are incorporated into water by-laws as they become due for renewal.
An alternative to the present method of charging on rateable value for domestic water services is charging by meter which could offer the possibility of regulating water demand by the pricing mechanism. This is a very complex subject, the costs involved are high, and changes would inevitably take a long time to implement. The water industry are studying the various issues involved.
House adjourned at fourteen minutes before eight o'clock.