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Water: South East Region

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to ensure that water companies in the South East share water between different resource zones. (136001)

On 1 April 2007, the preparation of water companies’ 25 year water resource management plans became a statutory requirement under the Water Act 2003, and will be subject to public consultation. These plans set out the demand and supply measures water companies plan to take to maintain security of supply for their customers. The Secretary of State, Ofwat and the Environment Agency are statutory consultees, and will be able comment on the measures water companies are taking in respect of security of supply, including the transfer of water between companies’ resource zones. The Secretary of State has powers to direct changes to the draft plans where he considers this is necessary.

Ofwat can also, under section 40 of the Water Industry Act 1991, after consulting with the Environment Agency, require a water company to enter into a bulk supply agreement with another water company.