A House of Lords committee has warned that consumers living in areas where water is most scarce are likely to see their bills increase over the coming years.
According to a report from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment EU Sub-Committee, plans outlined in the government’s White Paper last year to bring legislation forward in the next parliament fail to address “the urgency of the situation”.
“While this may indeed be a complex task, as the government claims, it cannot be as complex as, say, reform of the National Health Service,” the panel stated. “Consumption of water, whether by industrial or domestic users, must be better adjusted to respect constraints of water availability.”
The committee urged the government to redistribute supplies to “water-stressed areas” from regions where it is abundant. Chairman Lord Carter admitted that further hikes in prices may be “inevitable”, but stressed the need for local involvement in protecting lakes, rivers and streams.
The report’s findings came after the Consumer Council for Water claimed that switching to water meters could help some householders make significant savings.