Water

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The page will automatically redirect to Water Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on water including rivers. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
24.10.2016Flood risk management and funding
This is a House of Commons Library Briefing Paper providing an overview of national flood defence spending; how flood defence funding works; and who manages flood risk in England.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
09.08.2016Water bills - affordability and support for household customers
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper examines the issue of water affordability. It includes statistics and analysis of the cost of customer bills; discussion of affordability and vulnerability; and information on the help that is available for customers struggling to pay. It also discusses the economic regulation of the industry as well as actions of the UK Government since 2009.
04.04.2016Flood insurance
This note outlines issues relating to flood insurance within the UK and the establishment of the Flood Re scheme by the Water Act and subsequent Regulations.
27.11.2015Water Framework Directive: achieving good status of water bodies
This Commons Library Briefing Paper examines the requirements of the Water Framework Directive, including the requirement that the UK achieves 'good' status of all water bodies by 2015. It sets out some facts and figures for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, explains how water quality is measured and discusses what happens if the requirements are not met. The actions being taken by the Government to manage and improve water quality are also explained and a brief explanation of the offence of water pollution is included.
17.07.2015Marine Conservation Zones in England
Marine Conservation Zones are being introduced to protect nationally important marine environments. 127 sites were put forward by regional stakeholder groups, and the Government designated 27 sites in 2013. The Government consulted on a second tranche of MCZs early in 2015. It is expected that the Government will announce a third tranche of candidate MCZ sites in 2016.
18.12.2014Septic tanks: new regulations
This note explains the legislation relating to septic tanks in England.
08.07.2014Worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq
The plight of civilians in Syria may be about to get a lot worse, as drought ravages the region, ISIS takes over much of the River Euphrates and government services threaten to collapse.
17.06.2014Winter Floods 2013/14
A summary of the Government response to severe flooding in the Winter of 2013-14, including details of recent announcements by the Prime Minister, information about Government policy on flood planning and response, and sources of advice for those affected. Recent updates include details of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee report on the Winter Floods published in June 2014.
06.05.2014Water Bill 2013-14. Lords amendments
This note provides information on the Water Bill's Committee, Report and Third Reading stages in the Lords. It highlights amendments made to the Bill and also gives a brief account of other significant amendments discussed. It does not provide an exhaustive account of proceedings or document every amendment discussed.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
22.01.2014Water Bill
The Water Bill would introduce greater competition in the water sector by allowing non-household customers to switch their water and sewerage supplier (retail competition) and by allowing new entrants to the water market to provide new sources of water or sewerage treatment services (upstream competition).

POSTnotes

DateDescription
20.04.2016Access to Water and Sanitation
This briefing discusses the challenge of increasing access to water and sanitation in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
05.01.2016Trends in the Environment
Human activities interact with natural systems in complex ways; they can cause long-term damage to systems humans are dependent on. This POSTnote summarises a range of such pressures on the environment. It also identifies a number of trends and their effects on the UK.
11.12.2014Catchment-Wide Flood Management
Changing weather patterns have made structural defences less effective at managing flooding. An approach that employs a range of natural flood management measures across a river catchment is likely to reduce the probability of flooding and pressure on structural defences. This POSTnote describes the measures and the challenges of implementing them over large catchments.
15.10.2014Diffuse Pollution of Water by Agriculture
Water pollution regulation is devolved in the UK. Surface, coastal and ground waters in England suffer from significant pollution problems: 78% of surface and groundwater bodies fail to meet the 'good' ecological status prescribed by the EU Water Frameworks Directive. Pollution increases water treatment costs and adversely affects wildlife. Compared to treatment, preventing water pollution at source can have a cost-benefit ratio as high as 1:65. This POSTnote describes the contribution of agriculture to water pollution, and measures that can be taken to reduce it.
22.08.2014Phosphate Resources
World food security is dependent on phosphate fertilisers manufactured from finite deposits of phosphate ore. The majority of remaining reserves are restricted to a limited number of countries raising geopolitical risks. This POSTnote describes the uses of phosphate and summarises ways in which dependence on mineral reserves could be reduced.
11.07.2014Smart Metering of Energy and Water
Smart meters record energy and water usage and improve how this information is relayed to both consumer and suppliers. The Government plans to roll-out smart meters of electricity and gas to all households in Great Britain by the end of 2020. This POSTnote examines the potential benefits and risks associated with smart metering of both water and energy, and the challenges for the energy smart metering roll-out.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
30.03.2011Future flood and water management legislation.
Government response. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report [Commons]
30.03.2011The draft National Policy Statement on waste water.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
15.12.2010Future flood and water management legislation.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
14.10.2009Ofwat price review 2009.
Government response. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
12.10.2009Draft Flood and Water Management Bill.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
20.12.2011SCHOOL TOILET AND WATER FACILITIES
That this House is alarmed at plans to abolish the specific provisions on toilets in the School Premises Regulations; notes that school toilet facilities are inconsistent and often ...
01.11.2011THAMES TUNNEL
That this House is concerned that the recent report by Lord Selborne, instigated by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, long-standing opponents of the Thames Tunnel, fails ...
18.07.2011WATER MAIN BURSTS IN HUYTON
That this House notes with disgust the latest burst water main at Liverpool Road, Huyton; further notes that this is the fifth such burst in recent years and for the third time has ...
15.06.2011STAY COOLER CAMPAIGN
That this House supports the British Water Cooler Association's Stay Cooler campaign, a nationwide initiative to promote the importance of a healthy and hydrated workforce; recognises ...
18.05.2011DRAFT NATIONAL POLICY STATEMENT ON WASTE WATER
That this House notes the publication by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the draft National Policy Statement on waste water; recognises the need to construct ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses