Water Supplies in Great Britain


    IN reply to a question in the House of Commons 011 April 9 as to the present position in regard to water supplies in Great Britain, Mr. Ramsay MacDonald said: “The reserves of many water undertakers have fallen to a low level for this time of the year. The Government have been carefully watching the situation and, because of the continued absence of abundant rains, are satisfied that emergency measures must be taken. Therefore, in view of seriousness of the position, the Government propose to bring legislation before the House immediately.” The Water Supplies (Exceptional Shortage Orders) Bill was accordingly presented to the House on April 10, whereby the Minister of Health, and the Secretary of State and the Department of Health for Scotland, would be authorised “to make orders, and to give directions with a view to meeting deficiencies in water supplies due to exceptional shortage of rain, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid”. It will be remembered that the subject of water supply and regulation was discussed in NATURE of November 11, 1933, p. 725, in an article dealing with a report of a committee of the British Association, when the institution of an inland water survey of Britain was urged as a necdssary preliminary to efficient water administration. Reference was also made in that article to the presidential address to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers delivered by Mr. Alan Chorlton, M.P., in which he suggested the construction of a water grid in Great Britain comparable with the electricity ‘grid’ recently completed.

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