If the hon. Member wants to dry out, I suggest that he goes elsewhere.
I am disappointed about one thing. Most of the groundwork for the Bill was done during the summer and early autumn by the working party. I understand that even if the Bill goes through the other place successfully, it will be enacted too late to be implemented in the coming financial year. That will severely affect the areas which stand to benefit most from the Bill—the South-West, Wales and East Anglia. These are the areas which suffered most from the drought and the reorganisation and which have always suffered from difficulties of water supply.
We deprecate the loss of a year's equalisation. If there is to be a delay, perhaps the Minister would consider a partial equalisation to start at the midyear point rather than having to wait another year. I think that the Minister has succumbed too readily to the blandishments of the Thames and Southern Water Authorities, which appear to have delayed the whole thing for another year.