» Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Asked how Alistair Darling would be launching the gas review, the PMOS said that it was a review of the strain on gas over winter where we had recognised that supplies were tight but that the scare stories had turned out not to be true despite one of the coldest winters for some time. Asked if the Prime Minister was worried about water supply, the PMOS said that the reality was that we had had nineteen consecutive months of below average rainfall. The Prime Minister could do much but that was something that he could not influence and he would not even attempt to claim that he could. What we had done was encourage the water industry to tackle issues such as leakage. Overall leakage rates for water companies were down 20% since 1997. The government expected companies to continue to do everything they could to reduce leakage. Where necessary the Environment Agency was encouraging people to take the appropriate steps.

Asked if the government had contingency planning, the PMOS said that we talked to the water companies but we would not get ahead of where we were now. Asked what Downing Street and the Prime Minister were doing in regard to water savings following its efforts on energy efficiency, the PMOS said he would check if there were any overall steps being taken. Asked if any legislation was needed on water leakages, the PMOS said that we had a regulatory system which was policed by two independent regulators – OFWAT and the Environment Agency – and that was what we believed was necessary.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Search for related news

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