Water Resources

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1972.

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Photo of Mr Emlyn Hooson Mr Emlyn Hooson , Montgomeryshire 12:00 am, 27th November 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the expected demands on Welsh valleys for water resources purposes during the next 10 years.

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

The Water Resources Board in its report "Water Resources in Wales and the Midlands" outlined the various options for meeting the expected demands for water likely to arise over the next 10 years. A reservoir is to be constructed on the Afon Brenig further to regulate the flow of the Dee. Further regulation of the flow of the Severn will be required and alternatives are now being examined.

Photo of Mr Emlyn Hooson Mr Emlyn Hooson , Montgomeryshire

Does the Secretary of State realise that this is a most emotive issue in Wales and has been for a decade? As the Water Resources Board says that it does not want to submerge any other valley if its plans for enlarging existing reservoirs go forward without hitch, cannot the Secretary of State reassure those who have lived in constant anxiety lest their valley be taken from them that it is extremely unlikely that that will happen?

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Hendon South

I agree that it is an emotive issue, and I believe that ever since I became Secretary of State I have shown my understanding of that in the way I have dealt with the problems which have arisen. But I cannot give an unqualified assurance that no additional reservoir will be required, though we all hope that needs can be met by the enlargement of the existing ones.