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Water needs grossly underestimated


MINISTERS HAVE chronically underestimated water demand in its plans for housebuilding in south east England, the House of Lords Science & Technology Committee said this week.

In a report on water management published on Tuesday, the committee warns that without signifi ant investment in infrastructure, the existing system will not cope with government plans to build 200,000 homes a year over the next decade.

These plans will increase water demand by 728Ml/day by 2016 and 1.1bnl/day by 2031.

The government has wrongly stated that building 200,000 homes a year would increase water demand by only 12Ml/day, the report says.

The error came to light following an investigation by the committee.

The report said: 'Projected increases in house building have not, in many cases, yet been taken into water companies' long term plans because they have emerged faster and later than the water company plans were drawn up.

'There will be some places where it simply will not be possible to build more housing because we are at the level of capacity of the system.'

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