To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what proposals he has to mitigate the effect of the introduction of a metering system of water on those people with health problems who require a greater intake of water;(2) what assessment he has made of how a switch from calculation by rateable value to a metering system for water will affect families of lower than average income in comparison with other domestic users.
'These issues have been addressed in a survey of the impact of water metering commissioned jointly with the Office of Water Services. The final report from the contractor is expected shortly and a copy will be placed in the Library. We shall consider what action is appropriate in the light of the report.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what pilot schemes have been used to evaluate the efficiency of water meters; how long did they run; and how many homes were involved.
The performance of water meters has been monitored over a three-year period in the national water metering trials. The trials involved around 57,000 domestic properties. Randomly selected meters have been periodically removed in all the trials in order to analyse their performance and accuracy.