HL Deb 03 April 1996 vol 571 cc45-6WA
Lord Pearson of Rannoch

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much money the United Kingdom has so far spent on which European water directives; and how much it is committed to spend on which water directives in the future.

Earl Ferrers

Many of the existing European water directives were agreed in the 1970s and early 1980s; comprehensive cost data on them are not available.

As regards more recent directives, the capital costs of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC) have been estimated to be of the order of £8,000 million. A public consultation on the measures to be taken under the Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) was carried out earlier this year. This consultation included a draft Compliance Cost Assessment which put the capital costs of the Nitrates Directive at approximately £10 million.

There are currently two proposals from the European Commission for revisions of existing water directives: the Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC) and the Drinking Water Directive (80/778/EEC). The estimated capital costs of the proposal for the revision of the Bathing Waters Directive are £1,600–4,200 million. A costing study is currently being carried out for the proposal for the Drinking Water Directive and a Compliance Cost Assessment will be published shortly.

No costing has been prepared for the proposal for the Ecological Quality of Water Directive (COM (93) 680 final) since it is expected it will be withdrawn when the Commission publishes a proposal for a Framework Directive on Water Resources.