Twenty years after privatisation, the White Paper is an opportunity to focus on the new challenges facing the water industry and the Coalition Government hopes it will set a ‘clear direction and policy framework for the future’.

The paper, which applies only to England, is also according to environment minister Richard Benyon a chance to ‘examine the conclusions of the Cave and Walker Reviews, and reform the water industry to ensure more efficient use of water and the protection of poorer households’.

Mr Benyon said: “There’s a growing population and a changing climate putting more pressure on our water supplies.

“Recent events have shown just how fragile our water supplies are and how we need to manage them properly in the future. It’s an issue that affects all of us, so we want to give everyone the chance to get involved in drawing up solutions.”

The Water White Paper, due to be published early next summer, will set out the Government’s plans for the water industry. It will address challenges such as future resource needs, charging and affordability.

The Water White Paper will look at:

·Securing water resources for the future;

·Increasing choice and competitive opportunities, driving innovation, improving customer service and value;

·Creating a modern regulatory system that protects customers and minimises regulatory burdens;

·Ensuring fair and affordable water charges; and

·Incentivising water conservation.

·The launch of the online survey comes during World Water Week (5-11 September), an annual event for the planet’s most urgent water-related issues.

The survey will be available on the Defra website later today.

Luke Walsh

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