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October 20, 2003 12:00 AM

Water running into a bath from taps.The Liberal Democrats have tabled a new clause (NC26) to the Water Bill to introduce water metering for all homes. The proposals will be debated by MPs on Tuesday 21st October.

Proposing the amendment, Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

"We need to curb the growth in demand for water or we will be left with higher bills as infrastructure costs grow.

"Metered water supplies benefit the environment as well as the wallet. It provides an incentive to conserve water as consumers pay for what they use.

"LibDem proposals in the amendment would make sure that the poorest families and those with a medical need for high water consumption are protected.

"The Government is taking a piecemeal approach to extending metering when it should have a clear strategy in place.

"Ministers should take the opportunity afforded by the Water Bill to phase-in comprehensive metering and ensure we make the most efficient use of our water in the future.

"Universal metering at fair prices is a better deal for the public and the environment."