Memorandum by Shawater Ltd (DWB 36)
We have followed progress of this Bill and refer
to the Memoranda relating to the inquiry submitted to the Environment
Sub-committee dated 17 January 2001.
The business of our consulting water engineering
company includes significant work on the design and development
of small commercial hydro-electric power schemes in the UK, mostly
in Wales where, as a result, we have extensive dealings with the
The Memorandum submitted to the Environment
Sub-committee by Severn Trent Water Limited (page 57 of the Memoranda)
refers in paragraph 4.4(b) to an issue which is central to much
of the work which we have to do to progress our projects, namely
carrying out the R & D required by the EA in order to provide
the basic ecological information which we, Severn Trent Water
and many other organisations clearly believe should already be
available to the EA but quite clearly from our experience is not.
In fact we too often to our disappointment find
that the EA seeks to impress upon us information which in our
view has little bearing on the issues pertinent in the particular
situations with which we have to deal.
In this respect we note with interest that the
Treasury is currently emphasising the extent of the shortfall
in UK R & D and seeking ways for this matter to be put right.
The wealth of evidence which we have necessarily had to collect
about river eco-systems over many years with funding from the
private sector has proved a necessary but unwelcome burden on
the resources of the organisations seeking to support the Government's
understandable thrust to progress the expansion of renewable energy
usage in the UK.
May we suggest that in situations such as these,
joint consultation between the EA and companies such as ours regarding
combined R & D funding with tax support from Government offers
the best chance of securing answers to the right questions at
the right time.