Government’s Water Bill fails to address challenges

October’s WaterBriefing tells that key Government adviser, Professor Dieter Helm, Professor of Energy Policy, University of Oxford, who sits on the Department of Energy and Climate Change Economic Advisory Committee, says that the floods issue raises an investment requirement comparable to the sewerage one at privatisation and that the Government’s new Water Bill will not address the serious challenges posed by flood risk, and further, that massive additional investment will be required.

He says “Flood defence investment is a clear national priority on which the Draft Bill is largely silent” and that large scale investment in flood defences will be required, both to cope with the consequences in river catchments and also to deal with rising sea levels and more storms with greater weather variance that climate change is predicted to bring. The full powers of the state and the authorities are now needed to address the problems of floods and droughts and that avoiding both – or at least managing the consequences – requires a focus on the supply of water and its rapid disposal through drains and rivers.

The full details of his paper may be seen by visiting


PG 18/10/’12

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