Spain lacks the infrastructure or water resources to sustain its building boom, Greenpeace has warned. In the past year 22M. m 2 of land previously reserved for rural use has been made available for building projects. There were 88 serious incidents of water contamination in the same period. The country's population rose by 5% between 1990 and 2000, while urban development, mainly on the coast, soared by 24.5%.
Water companies are keen to see meters installed in homes to help control use.
A quarter of households currently have meters and regulator Ofwat claims average bills are £41 lower.
Most of the UK households with meters are in East Anglia, where the devices are installed free of charge.
An extra £43 is subsequently added to every bill to cover water company costs.
Greenpeace has criticised chancellor Gordon Brown for ruling out an increase in petrol duty. Greenpeace executive director Simon Tindale said while world leaders were discussing climate change at the G8 summit, Brown showed himself to be incapable of taking the most modest steps at home.