§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what powers he has to control the way in which the investment in plant and machinery is carried out by the various water companies and water authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth
It is for the water and sewerage companies to invest as and when necessary to meet their obligations. Water and sewerage undertakers must carry out their statutory duties in accordance with the terms of their licences and must comply with quality standards set and enforced by the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate. The economic regulator, Ofwat, has the function of ensuring that undertakers are able to finance their duties.