Water For Life

Water White Paper – Water for Life

DEFRA has published a white paper on water called Water for Life which can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/water/legislation/whitepaper/ under "water white paper".  The white paper appears to offer a lot to LFCC in terms of reducing the impact of water use on the aquatic environment.  The white paper proposes to introduce stricter controls on abstraction in order to protect vulnerable water courses.  The issues of climate change and increasing demand for water are dealt with in the white paper, both of which imply higher charges for water; that brings in OFWAT, the role of which is also reviewed and it may in future have less power to influence what the water utilities can charge for water use.
There may be good news for LFCC as the white paper proposes stronger measures in tackling diffuse pollution, especially that from agriculture.  Reforms to the CAP are seen as one measure to reduce agricultural pollution (good luck with that one).  The white paper notes that there may be economic benefits to reducing pollution in the form of reduced treatment costs for drinking water and reduced costs for environmental amelioration.  The white paper also announces its intention to promote the growth of the "green economy" notably by putting £3.5 billion into a fund for innovation for green businesses.
That is what the white paper proposes.  We shall see how much gets through Parliament, special interest groups and the water industry.  Watch this space.