The ICE has today challenged government policy by pushing for compulsory water metering as a means of improving the UK’s future water security.
In its State of the Nation: Water report, published today, the Institution says: “UK governments, regulators and water companies must implement universal metering … so that all water users pay for the water they use.”
This stance is at odds with current government policy. In last year’s water White Paper, the government said: “We will not impose a blanket approach to metering across the country,” adding: “ We believe water companies are best placed to find the appropriate local solution in discussion with their customers.”
ICE water panel chairman Michael Norton acknowledged that the report’s stance is a “challenge” to current government thinking, but said that it is vital that society starts to understand the true value of water.
The report also called on central and the devolved governments to establish a UK water security task force that should publish an integrated water security strategy by spring 2014 at the latest.
The ICE’s report was published as the Environment Agency eased fears of further water restrictions this summer, but warned that with groundwater levels still low in some areas and unlikely to improve before winter, plans needed to be put in place to protect water supplies next year if another dry winter further reduces these underground stocks.
- Read a full report on the ICE’s water stance in next week’s NCE.