Mr. Morley: Desalination not been previously used as an option for water supply in the UK. Costs and emissions will be determined by the particulars of the operation concerned, for example, each will depend on whether brackish or sea water is involved; the source of energy used; and whether or not the plant is used continuously or to meet peak demands.
Projections from South East Water, who are constructing a small desalination plant on the Southcoast, point to an energy consumption around 4.54.7 kWh per cubic metre of water produced, using energy from a combined heat and power plant. The company has also estimated, in its business plan for the Periodic Review of water prices in 2004, that the cost will be around 47 p per cubic metre.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with Treasury colleagues on the overall sum available to her Department for flood defence works. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 27 March 2006]: Defra has policy responsibility for flood risk management in England, funds most of the Environment Agency's flood related work and grant aids individual projects undertaken by local authorities and internal drainage boards. The programme to manage risk is driven by the operating authorities; Defra does not build defences, nor direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake.
Funding is allocated to different priorities within the full range of Departmental responsibilities from the overall allocation for the Department set in the Government's regular Spending Reviews. The 2004 Review set spending limits for 200506 to 200708. The Government's Comprehensive Spending Review in 2007 will set allocations for 200809 to 201011. The level of spending on flood risk management is being considered as part of this, as is the level of the Department's spend across all areas.
We are committed to the effective management of flood and coastal erosion risk and have increased funding significantly in recent years. In cash terms funding from central and local government has doubled
28 Mar 2006 : Column 840W
from £307 million in 199697 to an estimated outturn of £600 million in 200506, a real terms increase of 40 per cent. after inflation.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the (a) Environment Agency and (b) other operating authorities allocated to flood risk prevention measures for the Suffolk coast and its tidal rivers in each year since 200304. 
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency is the principal operating authority with responsibility for flood risk management in England and has allocated the following sums for flood risk measures on the Suffolk coast and its tidal rivers:
Waveney district council is promoting a £5 million capital improvement project at Southwold with funding from DEFRA which will provide protection from both flooding and coastal erosion. The latest estimate of spend is £2.3 million in 200506 and £3.4 million in 200607.
Figures for other measures by local authorities for flood (as opposed to coastal erosion) risk management on the Suffolk coast and its tidal rivers are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list flood protection projects (a) undertaken, (b) under way and (c) proposed for the Suffolk coast in each year since (i) 200304 and (ii) 200607, including those which have not yet been approved by her Department; and in each case what the (A) estimated cost is and (B) threshold score is, calculated on the basis of the priority scoring system. 
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency's improvement programme for the Suffolk coast is shown as follows. The Agency considers some projects will be exempt from DEFRA's priority scoring requirement because of the Government's legal obligation to protect environmental sites of international importance. The need for such works has to be agreed with English Nature (Natural England) for individual cases. Felixstowe Ferry Sea Defences and Bawdsey Sea Defences are being promoted with levy funding from local authorities rather than DEFRA grant in aid and are not therefore subject to DEFRA's priority scoring requirement.
Projects often span several years, particularly when advance feasibility and design work is taken into account, so it is not possible to allocate projects to specific years. Instead expenditure in each year has been shown.
28 Mar 2006 : Column 841W
|Project||Status||Priority score||200304||200405||200506||Later years|
|Felixstowe Manor Wall||Undertaken||28.5||324||12|||||
|Felixstowe Ferry Sea Defences||Undertaken/under way||15||||100||425|||
|Ipswich Horseshoe Sluice||Undertaken||22||||35||58|||
|Southwold Easton Bavents||Underway||27.3||143||62||664||590|
|Felixstowe Coastal Defences||Proposed||28.5||24||68||76||3,555|
|Minsmere Sea Defences||Proposed||(2)||83||83||107||850|
|Ipswich Tidal Defences||Proposed||20||||79||102||8,300|
|Bawdsey Sea Defences||Proposed||10.1||60||200||60||1,500|
|Kessingland to Benacre Sea Defences||Proposed||10||30||45||||435|
|Walberswick to Dunwich||Proposed||(2)||||||28||800|
|Sizewell Sea Defences||Proposed||||||||||200|
|Southwold The Denes||Proposed||17.4||||||||250|
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with (a) the National Environment Research Council, (b) the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and (c) the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the implications for environmental protection of the decision to withdraw funding from the Freshwater Biological Association Library and the Kritsch Collection. 
Margaret Beckett: [holding answer 21 March 2006]: The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is wholly owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). I have had no discussions with (a) the National Environment Research Council, (b) the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and (c) the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the implications for environmental protection of the decision to withdraw funding from the Freshwater Biological Association Library and the Kritsch Collection, because decisions on the merits of the funding of specific research areas are a matter for NERC.
Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Government plan to introduce rules to regulate the amount of energy that can be used by electrical household appliances in (a) standby and (b) no load mode. 
Mandatory standards for appliances are set at EU level. The new Eco-Design for Energy Using Products Framework Directive provides a route for setting such requirements, and we are pressing for stand-by power to be a priority area for action. Our Market
28 Mar 2006 : Column 842W
Transformation Programme (MTP) has also been working to promote other measures: for example, an EU-wide voluntary agreement means that the majority of new televisions sold in the UK now consume around 1watt of power in stand-by mode rather than the 38watts consumed by older models. Discussions are now under way to extend this agreement to cover other consumer electronics.
The Budget also announced a new initiative, in partnership with major retailers and the Energy Saving Trust, to introduce voluntary schemes in the retail sector which encourage the purchase of more energy efficient alternatives in consumer electronics.
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