Water Supply

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 25 April 2023.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Shadow Chief Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Deputy Chairman of Committees

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the supply of water and measures taken to conserve it.

Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Despite the dry summer of 2022, water companies in England have assured us that essential water supplies remain resilient across the country. It is their duty to maintain those supplies. Defra Ministers expect water company action in accordance with their pre-agreed drought plans.

Defra recently published its Plan for Water which sets out the importance of ensuring a clean and plentiful water supply. The National Framework for Water Resources, published in March 2020, sets out the strategic water needs for England to 2050 and beyond. The Government is requiring water companies to plan to deliver resilience to a one in 500-year drought, that is not needing to resort to emergency measures, such as standpipes and rota cuts.

Regional water resources groups and water companies are now consulting on their new Water Resources Plans. These plans will set out how each company will meet water supply needs over at least a 25-year period. In addition to their Water Resources Management Plans, water companies are using the £469 million made available by Ofwat in the current Price Review period (2019-24) to progress the infrastructure required.

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