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Baroness Byford: My Lords, I am disappointed by the Minister's response. Can he tell the House how much water is used by individuals compared with public bodies and businesses? I suspect that the bulk of water is used by individuals. If that is so, that adds huge weight to my amendment. If the Minister is saying that my amendment is not worded correctly, I have two options left to me: to divide the House, which I am not frightened to do, or to ask the Minister whether he would return with a simple amendment at Third Reading that will reflect the desire of the House to put a duty on individuals to conserve water, in which case I would not divide the House. I am left with that dilemma as I am not satisfied with the Minister's response. Does he wish to come back on that point before I decide what to do?

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, perhaps I should remind the House that, at Report stage, questions to the Minister must be raised while he is on his feet. I am sure that my noble friend will write to the noble Baroness on the point that she raises.

Baroness Byford: My Lords, I am grateful for that response. I should have jumped in and asked that question of the Minister before he sat down. I am not satisfied so I shall test the opinion of the House.

11.22 a.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 89; Not-Contents, 76.

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bowness, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Cockfield, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Emerton, B.
Falkland, V.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hooson, L.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Jopling, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lyell, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Moynihan, L.
Noakes, B.
Northover, B.
O'Cathain, B.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Perry of Walton, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Rees, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogan, L.
Roper, L.
Sandwich, E.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selborne, E.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Sutherland of Houndwood, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Tordoff, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vivian, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Walpole, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wigoder, L.
Wilcox, B.
Windlesham, L.


Acton, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dixon, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fitt, L.
Golding, B.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harrison, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Marsh, L.
Morgan, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Sewel, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Turner of Camden, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

12 Jun 2003 : Column 348

11.32 a.m.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer moved Amendment No. 2:

    Before Clause 1, insert the following new clause—

12 Jun 2003 : Column 349

(1) The Secretary of State shall by regulations ensure the timely establishment of a working framework that furthers the establishment of practices required by Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (hereafter referred to as the "Water Framework Directive").
(2) The regulations under subsection (1) shall in particular—
(a) prevent further deterioration of and protect and enhance the status of the aquatic ecosystems and, with regard to their water needs, terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands directly depending on the aquatic ecosystems;
(b) promote sustainable water use based on a long term protection of available water resources;
(c) enhance the protection and improvement of the aquatic environment through, inter alia, specific measures and targets for the progressive reduction of discharges, emissions and losses of the priority hazardous substances;
(d) ensure that for surface water the highest ecological and chemical status possible is achieved, given impacts that could not reasonably be avoided due to the nature of human activity or pollution;
(e) for groundwater, ensure the least possible changes to good groundwater status, given impacts that could not reasonably be avoided due to the nature of human activity or pollution;
(f) contribute to mitigating the effects of floods and droughts, in particular by measures to be developed as appropriate to each river basin according to policies developed by each river basin management committee (as defined in section 64).
(3) The Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales, as appropriate, shall set targets for the achievement of the measures set out in subsection (2), the first set of targets to be introduced in December 2004, to be reviewed every six years thereafter."

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, the amendment introduces the Water Framework Directive principles on to the face of the Bill. Unless the Government accept something along these lines, in 2003 we shall have a piece of legislation containing over 200 pages, and in this House alone we shall have spent 10 days on it, that will not even once mention the Water Framework Directive which represents the biggest positive change in our approach to water. The Water Framework Directive offers major opportunities, as the Environment Agency said,

    "to improve the whole water environment and promote the sustainable use of water for the benefit of people and wildlife".

The aims of the directive are something to which we subscribe fully. It will realign the management of water in the widest sense and its proper implementation will bring tremendous environmental and social benefits. But it will also bring huge changes in the way in which farmers manage their land, industry manages its processes, planning authorities manage the demands of development and communities in general manage their activities.

Implemented properly, it will bring cost benefits of the kind explained in Committee by the noble Lord, Lord Haskel, and it will be an economic good. It will move the status of all kinds of water bodies—rivers,

12 Jun 2003 : Column 350

lakes, estuaries—from unknown or dubious quality in biological terms to excellent. It will be a great force for environmental good.

I believe that if it is implemented piecemeal, without clear targets and under resourced, it will not bring those benefits and those on the sharp end of implementation—industry, farmers and so on—instead of being part of the process of planning for the changes, will just be the subject of enforcement penalties and bad feeling. The framework directive has to be transposed into national law by 22nd December this year, a matter of weeks from when this Bill is expected by the Government to receive Royal Assent.

The first river basin management plans must be in place by 2009. That might seem a long way away, but six years is a short timescale to define, with public agreement, what methods of working there should be and to what boundaries and who needs to do what to their policies. One need only look at how long the well-understood process of local plans takes. This will be a whole new way of working.

In Committee, the Minister said:

    "We have a perfectly adequate way of transposing that—as we normally do".—[Official Report, 27/3/03; col. GC46.]

He went on to say that we did not need to transpose matters by primarily legislation; that we almost always transpose them by secondary legislation.

The Waste and Emissions Trading Bill, which passed through your Lordships' House earlier this year, is a very good example of primary legislation transposing a directive and doing some other things. So we can have mixed legislation of that kind as the Government have just passed some through the House. That objection to my amendment does not stand.

However, I took great account of what the Minister went on to say in Committee. She said that my amendment was not satisfactory in attempting to transpose the Water Framework Directive directly and that, as a purpose clause, it was not useful. My amendment now puts the Water Framework Directive on the face of the Bill. It simply lays out some main principles on which it asks the Secretary of State to set some targets and then to monitor progress every six years.

I recognise that much more needs to be done to the transposition. I refer noble Lords to the Select Committee's report on the Water Framework Directive. It said that there was a palpable lack of urgency, and perhaps even a sense of complacency. The Government conveniently published their response to the Select Committee's report yesterday. Noble Lords will see that that response is not strong enough to allow us to think that this amendment does not need to be seriously considered.

Perhaps the Minister feels that good progress has been made since the Select Committee's report, but the amendment invites the Government to ensure that progress really is made and monitored. I beg to move.

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