Water resource debate sticks in the rut

The publication of a long-awaited Government policy document on water resources has been given an unforeseen edge by the summer drought throughout Britain.1 But the paper has little new to offer, advocating widespread water metering while failing to address concerns about its fairness and efficiency. Meanwhile, damage to the aquatic environment caused by the escalating demand for water and resource mismanagement by some water companies is not being taken into account in decisions on leak reduction programmes, and the Government is failing to deliver on past promises to curb excessive abstraction. Overseas experience in water demand management has also yet to make an impact in the UK.

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