Ofwat: Strategic Priorities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:42 pm on 9th June 2022.

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Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Chair, Environmental Audit Committee, Chair, Environmental Audit Committee 2:42 pm, 9th June 2022

I am very grateful to my right hon. Friend for introducing the next comment in my speech, which was to highlight precisely the volume of spillages that these monitors have revealed—not just in his local river, but right across the country, in all catchments. All water treatment plants are obliged now to have event duration monitors. They are obliged to have them but not all have installed them—or at least not on all the storm overflows. I believe there are about 22,000 overflows and about 20,000 have the monitors on them, so this number will continue to increase until they are all being monitored; I will come on to discuss that in a moment.

My right hon. Friend has described the particular challenge in his river system, but he will be aware that the aggregate number showed that there were 372,533 spill events, lasting 2,667,452 hours, during 2021. Every Member of this House will have access to those figures and can look them up. I commend to them The Rivers Trust website, as it has made this information very accessible. It is very easy to find where a facility is being monitored and what spillage events have occurred in the previous year.