§ 11. Mr. Coleman
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the cost to the Welsh economy of the current year's drought in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
§ 18. Sir Raymond Gower
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what conclusions he has reached concerning the effects of the water shortage as it affected Wales; and what assessment he has made regarding the steps taken by the Welsh water authority to deal with its effects, particularly in the parts of the Principality worst affected.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
I am sure right hon. and hon. Members will have been pleased to hear of the lifting of all restrictions on the use of water in Wales. The avoidance of cut-offs was due to improvements made to the water supply systems since 1976 and to the ingenuity shown by the authority in carrying out temporary works, particularly in south east Wales. Another factor was the reduction in consumption made by all consumers.
The only readily discernible sector of the Welsh economy that was adversely affected by the drought was agriculture, the effect varying from area to area with the individual enterprise. Obviously there are lessons to be learned from this year's drought and I have asked the authority to review the situation and to let me have a report.