§ Andrew Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how far each United Kingdom water provider has reduced water leakage from the supply system; and which companies have met the targets set by the Deputy Prime Minister in 1997. 
§ Mr. Meacher
At the Water summit in 1997, the Deputy Prime Minister asked the Office of Water Services to set leakage targets for water companies in England and Wales. The objective was for companies to reach their economic level of leakage by 2002–03 and all companies, with the exception of Thames Water, are on target to reach that level. To date, this amounts to a reduction in leakage of about 30 per cent. Thames Water has been required to take the necessary corrective action by 2003–04. Details of the action required of Thames and other companies' performance are contained in the Ofwat report 'Leakage and the efficient use of water 2000–01', a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
The Water summit did not involve the water authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Scottish Executive published their most recent leakage information in 'Public Water Supplies in Scotland 1999–2000 Water Resources Survey'. The Northern Ireland Water Service does not currently publish any information on leakage.