Defra has published a Water White Paper.
The paper focuses on the future challenges facing the water sector, including maintaining water supplies for people, agriculture and business, keeping bills affordable and how Government can reduce regulation. It also recognises the need to protect rivers, streams and lakes from pollution and unsustainable abstraction, and acknowledges the critical importance of water supply and sewerage infrastructure.
The Welsh Government has indicated that it will be publishing a new Strategic Policy Position Statement on water in early 2012. This statement will set out its intentions for future water management in Wales.
For further information on what the White Paper includes, please refer to Defra’s website.
What have we done to support the White Paper?
We have provided advice to Defra on the scope and content of the White Paper based on our technical and operational experience and our strong evidence base. We are also providing similar advice to the Welsh Government.
We have developed an evidence case for Defra to support the White Paper. We have released two documents known as the Case for change which set out:
Statement of response
We welcome the publication of the Water White Paper and will continue to work with government, the water sector, business and civil society, to deliver the ambitious proposals it sets out.
The Water White Paper sets out clear objectives for delivering future water management in response to the potential pressures of climate change and population growth. We will work closely with both English and Welsh governments to plan and scope the abstraction reform work, collect the supporting evidence, develop and test options, involve stakeholders and inform decision-making.
We will also play a significant role in delivering commitments and actions around funding and delivering the Restoring Sustainable Abstraction (RSA) programme more effectively, tackling pollution at a catchment level, understanding and planning for water demand for other sectors in the context of future pressures and working with others to improve bathing water quality.
We will also be working with Defra on developing the subsequent Water Bill.