The Parliamentary Reply . .

. . . from Select Committee Chair, Anne McIntosh MP, Member for Thirsk  . . .

. . .  (to the question posed below at this week’s POST UK seminar) could perhaps best be described as a cautious,  maternal,  albeit slightly negative “We’ll see” .   The Chair sought moral support from colleagues, but few other parliamentarians were present. The negative thinking was that end-users of  ‘water-the-asset’ should not necessarily have to fund directly, even in small part,  natural networks (ie rivers) conveying such communal good .  This NFM commentary can not quite see the logic in this, and would reflect:

  • Natural attenuation yields effective multiple benefit, not least in diffuse incremental filtration of DWPA in the delivery of good water
  • Water is the same medium whether displaying characteristics of an asset or those associated with liability
  • Time is ‘on-side’ in this equation.  A fractional annual financial contribution would accumulate significantly when multiplied by the RP years between loss-carrying flood events.  Even 0.25% pa is defendable (more . . . ).
  • Regulation: For such a ‘fee’, private (water) industry would stimulate, even regulate, public (environmental) provision to the benefit of all.   FRM taxpayer grant would be routed competitively via both private (Water Industry) and public (Environment Agency) institutional bodies. A nice win-win-win.

A supplementary challenge (effectively to NFM scientists) was laid before the group attending Committee room 12.  From the Chair, the question was asked  “Is the evidence in place yet that NFM methods are effective . . . if not why not”.  In broad terms, the scientific reply was that more monitoring was needed.   The Chair and the floor both commented also that statistical uncertainty, connected so closely to scientific approach,  should not paralyze outcomes and compromise delivery (more . . . ).                      Top

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