HC Deb 21 February 1973 vol 851 cc465-6
19. Sir J. Gilmour

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the extra amount of water which will be required in Scotland during the next 10 years as a result of the North Sea oil development.

Mr. Younger

The water boards have plans to meet known needs and most of the boards have ample resources on which they can draw to meet future needs. The North Sea Oil Development Committee will be co-ordinating the development of this and all other infrastructure services for oil-based projects. It is not yet possible to make firm estimates for the new oil industry as much as 10 years ahead.

Sir J. Gilmour

In view of the present acute water shortage in various parts of Scotland, does my hon. Friend agree that there is doubt about whether the new regional authorities as recently amended will have adequate resources to provide the water we need? May not there be a need for a national water resource survey?

Mr. Younger

The precise nature of future water organisation is a matter to which we shall come in our deliberations in a certain Standing Committee with which my hon. Friend may be familiar. I shall not cover that now. The recent shortages in some areas have been due to the exceptionally low rainfall in certain areas. However, throughout most of Scotland there are ample supplies and reserves and I am confident that water boards have plans in hand to make adequate use of these.

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