§ Mr. Brake
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what percentage of reservoir capacity is currently full in each water company area; and what was the figure(a) six and (b) 12 months ago; 
what is the current percentage level of maximum groundwater in each water company area; and what was the figure (a) six and (b)12 months ago; 
what assessment he has made of the likelihood of water shortages in 1998. 
§ Angela Eagle
The Institute of Hydrology and the British Geological Survey publish jointly a monthlyHydrological summary for Great Britain. This contains full information on reservoir stocks and on groundwater levels at representative sites during the last 12 months. That for February 1998 states that reservoir stocks remain healthy, while groundwater levels are within the normal range throughout most of the country but remain very depressed in parts of the English lowlands.
The Environment Agency keeps my Department informed on a weekly basis of the water resources position in England and Wales. We expect water companies to maintain supplies at all times and we do not currently envisage them having any general difficulty in doing that, although exceptionally low groundwater levels in some areas will require careful resource management. At the beginning of February, we commissioned the Environment Agency to prepare a more detailed report on prospects for water supplies this year, to be based on the resources position at 31 March. We expect to receive that report towards the end of April.