Skip to main content

Pollution in rivers on Lords agenda

1 March 2024

There is no description available for this image (ID: 158807)

On Thursday 29 February, members of the House of Lords debated the state of pollution in rivers and the regulation of private water companies.


Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville (Liberal Democrats) put forward the debate.

This was a general debate. During debates, members put their experience to good use to discuss current issues and draw the government's attention to concerns.     

Members speaking

Members speaking in the debate included:

Opening the debate, Baroness Bakewell said:

'Water companies continue to discharge sewage into rivers, lakes and coastlines. At the same time, the government are watering down environmental protections and allowing sewage discharges to continue until 2050.'

Lord Douglas-Miller (Conservative), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, responded on behalf of the government:

'In tackling this challenge, it is really important to be clear that there are both legal and illegal discharges of sewage and that the government are taking action to reduce both.

'[The government is] directing £2.2 billion of new, accelerated investment into vital infrastructure to improve water quality and secure water supplies.'

Catch up

Watch and read the debate

Watch on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

Explore background information

Find out more about the issues the debate covers in the House of Lords Library briefing.

Learn more about how the House of Lords checks and challenges government.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Subscribe to Lords newsletter

Sign up for the House of Lords newsletter for the latest news, debates and business.

Subscribe now

Lords Enquiry Service and FAQs

House of Lords FAQs

The Lords Enquiry Service provides information on the role, work and membership of the House of Lords.

  • Telephone: 0800 223 0855 (Freephone) or 020 7219 3107
  • Email:
  • Text Relay: 18001 7219 3107

The telephone enquiry service is open from 10am - 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 10am - 4pm on Fridays. During recess, the hours are 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm Monday to Friday.