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

Mr Deputy Speaker, I am rather concerned that my speech has been leaked to other Members of the House, because the Father of the House has just pre-empted my next sentence. He is absolutely right: it is appropriate that we are having this debate on the day after World Oceans Day. Of course, the devastating effect of the spillages impacts the receiving waterway, and gradually impacts the oceans as the rivers flow into the seas around us. This has a differing effect depending on the severity of the spillage, but the effect is routine, not exceptional.

Water companies were allowed to spill discharges so that they did not back up through the drainage system into people’s houses and on to our streets. The whole purpose of the licences was to allow such an opportunity in exceptional circumstances. What is so apparent from all this information is that it is routine spillages that are causing so much damage to our rivers and our oceans.