National Policy Statement for Water Resources Infrastructure 2018 - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:13 pm on 11th April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Adonis Lord Adonis Labour 12:13 pm, 11th April 2019

I thank the Minister for giving way. This issue of new reservoirs is absolutely central to the debate about new infrastructure for water. The Minister said that there might be a need for new reservoirs, but paragraph 2.6.7 of the Draft National Policy Statement says:

“New reservoirs are likely to play an important role in securing resilient supplies”.

That comes before the passage on water transfers, and raises the very big issue in water infrastructure of whether we have a national system of water transfer to enable water to be distributed from the north, where there is a surplus, to the south, where there is a shortage. It does not say whether the Government’s intention is to place a higher priority on new infrastructure for water transfers than on reservoirs. What the Minister has just said about how there “might” be reservoirs rather than this being “likely” will, if he does not mind my saying so, create further uncertainty in the wider public. Is it “might” or “likely”? What is the hierarchy in the Government’s planning between new reservoirs and new infrastructure for water transfer?