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Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what measures the Government are (a) taking and (b) considering to promote efficiency in the use of water; 
Ian Pearson: The Government support a number of initiatives to promote water efficiency in the domestic and commercial sectors. The Water Industry Act 1991 mandates water companies in England and Wales to promote the efficient use of water to their customers. This can include the distribution of free water saving devices, free or subsidised supply pipe leak detection and repair, and free home or business water saving audits. The Water Services Regulation Authority (publicly known as Ofwat) monitors each company's actions annually and expects water companies to take a more active approach when supplies are under pressure.
Other measures include the establishment of the Water Saving Group, which I chair, including representatives from a range of stakeholder groups. The group aims to encourage the efficient use of water in households and to contribute to demand management in the long term.
To address water efficiency in new housing, Communities and Local Government (CLG) have introduced a code for sustainable homes (CSH). This sets out performance levels and standards, including minimum performance levels for water use.
In addition, DEFRA and CLG have recently consulted on regulatory options for minimum standards of water efficiency in new homes and commercial buildings. Responses to the consultation will be published in due course. CLG are also reviewing the sustainability of the existing building stock, including water use.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much water on average was (a) available to and (b) consumed by each person in England in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by (i) water company and (ii) region. 
Ian Pearson: Ofwat is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales. It publishes information each year on estimates of average household consumption by company area, but not by region.
|Water available for use (Ml/d) 2005-06||Average household per capita consumption (l/h/d) 2005-06|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much water was used by (a) domestic, (b) business and (c) industry sectors in each year since 1992; and what the total water use was in each year. 
Ian Pearson: Ofwat is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales. It collects information each year from companies on the amount of water consumed by household and non-household customers.
|Water delivered 1992-93 to 2005-06|
|Megalitres per day|
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent of the requirement for expenditure on new capacity in water infrastructure. 
In 2001, the Environment Agency published Water resources for the futurea strategy for England and Wales. The strategy is used as part of the water resources planning carried out by the Environment Agency and water companies. It sets out pressures on water resources over the next 25 years and how the Environment Agency expects these to be
managed. The publication considers both national and regional water resource strategies. Water companies water resource management plans complement these strategies. Each year the Environment Agency publishes annual reviews of actions taken under its strategy.
From 1 April 2007, water companies will have a statutory duty to prepare and maintain long-term water resources management plans. Ofwat, as part of the periodic review process, will consider companies business plans including investment in water infrastructure.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to ensure that water companies in the South East share water between different resource zones. 
Ian Pearson: On 1 April 2007, the preparation of water companies 25 year water resource management plans became a statutory requirement under the Water Act 2003, and will be subject to public consultation. These plans set out the demand and supply measures water companies plan to take to maintain security of supply for their customers. The Secretary of State, Ofwat and the Environment Agency are statutory consultees, and will be able comment on the measures water companies are taking in respect of security of supply, including the transfer of water between companies resource zones. The Secretary of State has powers to direct changes to the draft plans where he considers this is necessary.
Ofwat can also, under section 40 of the Water Industry Act 1991, after consulting with the Environment Agency, require a water company to enter into a bulk supply agreement with another water company.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with counterparts in the Government of (a) Laos and (b) São Tomé and Príncipe on (i) whaling and (ii) membership of the International Whaling Commission; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Representatives of the UK Government visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic in early May to inform the Ministry of the UKs position on whaling. We received no indication from Lao of any intention to join the IWC or of their voting position if they were to do so. We have had no such discussion with São Tomé and Príncipe.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information he has received on which countries may join the International Whaling Commission in support of Japan before the annual meeting begins on 28 May; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I am disappointed if any new countries join the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to support the resumption of commercial whaling. However, since the last annual meeting, no new members have adhered to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and stated their support for Japans pro-whaling position.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of the ultrasonic antisocial behaviour deterrent device Mosquito on retail workers under the age of 25 years; 
(2) what discussions he has held with (a) audiologists, (b) radiation experts, (c) animal rights groups and (d) trade unions in respect of the ultrasonic antisocial behaviour deterrent device Mosquito; 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer s 30 April 2007]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has not held any discussions with audiologists, radiation experts, animal rights groups or trade unions in respect of the Mosquito device. The device is a commercially available device and is not subject to endorsement by the Home Office.
As we understand it the Health and Safety Executive has considered the literature available on the Mosquito device in order to determine whether there is any risk to health, either to hearing or other effects, which might be relevant under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, etc. 1974. The Health and Safety Executive concluded that the literature available on very high frequency/ultrasound units of this type did not identify any significant and relevant health effects that may harm children/youths exposed to vhf/ultrasound in the long-term.
The Health and Safety Executive also considered that in terms of noise exposure in the context of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, and therefore possible implications for persons working in proximity to these units, at the stated output level (for the Mosquito unit) of an A-weighted sound pressure level of 76 dB, for the likely daily duration of exposure, there was not likely to be any risk of an exposed person suffering hearing damage. They concluded that based on the information and evidence available, and while there is the possibility of some short-term subjective effects if the duration of exposure is prolonged, there would appear to be little likelihood of persons exposed to vhf/ultrasound from this device suffering long-term ill health.
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