§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to simplify the system of water abstraction licensing. 
§ Mr. Clappison
A joint DOE and Welsh Office consultation paper, "Proposed amendments to the Water Resources Act 1991 and the Reservoirs Act 1975", was issued in November 1993. It included plans to simplify the system of water abstraction licensing. A number of these proposals were included with the Environment Act 1995, while those not covered by that Act are being considered under deregulation procedures available under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994.