Policy watchdog presses Defra to address criticisms of leadership

Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), Philip Dunne, has given the government less than three weeks to come up with measures to address its shortfalls in UK water management highlighted last week by the spending watchdog.

In a letter to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Dunne (pictured) has requested “a response detailing what action Defra will be taking” to address findings in a National Audit Office report questioning the department’s leadership in ensuring resilience in UK water supplies. He pulls out the NAO’s observations of Defra’s failure to lead on promoting water efficiency, and ensuring leakage targets are met.

In his letter to water minister Rebecca Pow Dunne asks:

  • how does the government intend to monitor progress of water companies to ensure that leakage targets are met?

  • when will the personal consumption target be introduced and can you explain why there has been a delay?

  • can you explain how you plan to provide stronger leadership to water companies, regulators and consumers to reduce the consumption of water?