Water Management: 8th Report of Session 2005-06, Volume 1
The Stationery Office, 2006 M06 6 - 160 pages
The Committee's report examines a range of issues relating to water management in England and Wales, including the regulatory and legislative framework, water demand and supply issues, water efficiency, and environmental aspects including the Water Framework Directive. Amongst the 60 conclusions and recommendations made, the Committee finds that a sustainable balance between water resource development and demand management cannot be achieved until there is a co-ordinated institutional framework for water resource management, with a need for wider stakeholder engagement by means of new regional boards consisting of environmental and consumer interests, as well as Ofwat representatives. Ofwat and the Environment Agency should take a more realistic approach to long-term planning issues, including agreeing indicative pricing for each water company. Current levels of leakage from the distribution network are unacceptably high in parts of the country, which damages the public's attitude towards sensible water use, and Ofwat should sanction water companies to spend more on reducing leakage with targets that take greater account of environmental and social factors as well as economics. The Government should make it easier for water companies to impose water meters on households in the driest parts of the country, in order to help reduce demand and ensure fairer charging practices, with support through the tax and benefit system for vulnerable customers who have difficulty with their bills. In order to address the very high level of unpaid water bills, those people who can afford to pay but refuse to do so should be partially disconnected from the water supply.
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The Regulatory and Legislative Framework
Demand for Water
Industry and Agriculture 4 49
New Resources 5 14
Water Quality in the Environment 7 6
Summary of Recommendations
Members and Declarations
The Way Forward 3 106 39
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