Sewage (Supplementary) [6]

Session date: 
September 13, 2006
Question By: 
Nicky Gavron
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Is it not the case, Mayor, that even if the Government were to adopt your suggestion' for the tunnel for sewage for the Lower Lea Valley to Beckton stretch - that if we had a repeat of the flash storms in August 2004 ' which is highly likely I think during summer, as climate change bites more ' we would have fish dying in the Thames again and we would have sewage overflows all along the river?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Sewage (Supplementary) [6]

Answer for Sewage (Supplementary) [6]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

If that is the case, then the new mega-sewer would work nine times out of 10, but there would still be the very extreme circumstances when you would still get some discharge. The problem with the works around here is whether or not this is caused by poor drainage, or whether it is actually caused by the rising tides in the River Thames. When we had the Environment Agency in last week, their assumption is that, by the end of this century, sea levels will have risen around England by two metres, but increasingly, more and more evidence suggests that that process might accelerate quite dramatically. We could actually achieve that position by about 2050, which makes the question of a new barrier and a whole range of other issues much, much more urgent. I think both the Assembly and I will need to turn much more attention to this, because I got the impression, meeting the Environment Agency, they were taking relatively optimistic scenarios about global warming.