§ Mr. Evennett
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will report on the quality of rivers in England and Wales.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The report of the 1985 river quality survey, which provides details of the quality of rivers, canals and estuaries in England and Wales, was published today. Together with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales I have arranged for copies to be placed in the Library.
Using data routinely collected by water authorities, the survey shows that, although there has been deterioration in a few areas, there has been improvement in others. The overall quality of the waters surveyed continues to be high, with 90 per cent. of river and canal length and 92 per cent. of estuarial length assessed as being of good or fair quality.
Consideration is being given to the implications of these results, including the need for improvements to the survey methodology.