Defra stalls indefinitely its consultation on national per capita consumption target

DEFRA’s planned consultation on a national per capita consumption target for water is understood to have been indefinitely delayed.

Sources suggest concerns raised by Downing Street because of the metering policy implications of a PCC target, and by Treasury on the grounds that a target could potentially restrict growth, are behind the delay.

The consultation, which was originally expected early in 2019 and most recently in May, was identified in DEFRA’s December 2018 Water conservation report, which is required under the Water Act 2003, detailing action taken and planned by government and industry to encourage efficient use and management of water.

A call for evidence on setting “an ambitious target” for personal water consumption was expected to be accompanied by a consultation exploring supporting policy options. These include water efficiency labelling, building regulations, leakage, metering and business retail market policy.