Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Future Water Policy “an issue that affects all of us”, says Environment Minister
Members of the public can have their say on how the country’s water supplies are managed in the future.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today launched an online survey, asking people to give their ideas ahead of the Water White Paper.
The Water White Paper, due to be published early next summer, will set out the Government’s plans for the water industry. It will address challenges such as future resource needs, charging and affordability.
Water issues recently hit national headlines with a drought and hosepipe ban in the North West, just six months after severe flooding, prompting discussions about water conservation and availability. Concerns have also been raised about the cost of water bills.
Environment Minister Richard Benyon said:
“There’s a growing population and a changing climate putting more pressure on our water supplies.
“Recent events have shown just how fragile our water supplies are and how we need to manage them properly in the future. It’s an issue that affects all of us, so we want to give everyone the chance to get involved in drawing up solutions.”
The Water White Paper will look at:
- Securing water resources for the future;
- Increasing choice and competitive opportunities, driving innovation, improving customer service and value;
- Creating a modern regulatory system that protects customers and minimises regulatory burdens;
- Ensuring fair and affordable water charges; and
- Incentivising water conservation.
The launch of the online survey comes during World Water Week (5-11 September), an annual event for the planet’s most urgent water-related issues.
The survey can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Water-WP.
Twenty years after privatisation, the White Paper will provide an opportunity to focus on the new challenges facing the water industry and will set a clear direction and policy framework for the future. It will also reflect the conclusions of the Ofwat review announced earlier this month.
The White Paper will be a vehicle to drive forward the commitment in the coalition agreement to “examine the conclusions of the Cave and Walker Reviews, and reform the water industry to ensure more efficient use of water and the protection of poorer households”.
The Water White Paper will cover England only.