Nathan Richardson ‘In terms of Water then a heads up that Defra are looking to consult on a range of topics in the next 3 to 4 months (see below) with a view to being in position to affect them through primary legislation when the opportunity arises (possibly through clauses in the Environment Bill (Part 2). The topics are
- Abstraction reform (changing the definition of serious damage and removing compensation where water on “underused” licences is clawed back)
- Putting national/regional water resource planning on a statutory footing alongside WRMPs
- Putting Drainage and Wastewater Management Planning on a statutory footing
- Potentially strengthening water company environmental duties to encourage enhancement rather than compliance
- Changes to enable new or expanded IDBs to be set up and also new Rivers Authorities to be set up
The above is likely to be subject to a 6 to 8 week consultation and Defra officials are hopeful of kicking it off in late January if they can get sign off.
In addition I understand that there will be a consultation/evidence gathering process started by Defra around a potential water consumption target.’