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Water Supply (Cost)

Volume 12: debated on Monday 9 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the marginal cost to the water authorities of the provision of one cubic metre of water.

The marginal cost of water, whether in the short term or the long term, will vary widely from one part of the country to another, depending on the sources of water, distances, power costs and other factors.The National Water Council, in its report last year on leakage control policy and practice, quotes estimates of the long-run marginal cost of supplying water from 4·5p to 5·6p per cubic metre, based on three case studies. But other estimates have been made well outside this range. The NWC, in its report "Paying for Water" published in 1976, also estimated a national long-run marginal cost of combined water supply and disposal of 21 pence per cubic metre (at 1975 prices).