HC Deb 02 March 1954 vol 524 cc1010-1
61. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the intimation by certain water supply authorities that restrictions on the use of water may have to be imposed in certain areas this summer; and what plans his Department have for avoiding these recurrent restrictions and for ensuring a greater margin of safety by providing over a term of years increased reservoir capacity throughout the country.

Mr. Marples

Yes, Sir. Water supply is steadily improving, but it must be a very long time before we can reach the point at which drought does not cause a shortage in some areas. Meanwhile, in authorising the construction of new waterworks, my right hon. Friend tries to give preference to the areas most in need.

Brigadier Medlicott

Can my hon. Friend say to what extent the increased supplies are keeping pace with increased consumption as well as with increased population?

Mr. Marples

It is very difficult to give an answer categorically to that question because it is not just a matter of spending money. The need is for new sources of water and for more effective use of the existing sources.