Water Companies (Investment)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1992.

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Photo of David Maclean David Maclean Minister (Department of Environment) (Environment and Countryside) 12:00 am, 17th June 1992

The water companies have a prime duty to ensure that consumers are supplied with adequate amounts of healthy, wholesome water. In the past few years, those companies have developed river transfer schemes and the elements of a grid. However, I caution my hon. Friend when he suggests that we should have a national grid pumping thousands of millions of gallons of water around the country. We should be wary of doing that on the basis of the huge amount of energy that it would consume. My hon. Friend should not jump to the conclusion that all parts of the country have more than adequate water supplies. One of the rivers that is under threat and is very low is in the lake district; it supplies Lake Ullswater, which supplies Haweswater, which supplies Manchester.