Pumping water from underneath London has reduced considerablysince the decline of the industrial sector in the 1960s. Since thenthe water has continued to rise. The London Assembly EnvironmentCommittee estimates that 70 mega litres of water per day must bepumped out to prevent flooding or damage to London's infrastructureand deep tunnels and sewers. The foundations of tall buildings arealso in danger from rising water levels.

Seven new boreholes have been dug in Merton, Streatham, HonourOak, Wanstead, Brixton, Battersea and Islington. But the committeeis extremely concerned that Mayor Livingstone has missed theopportunity to encourage developers to help in his SpatialDevelopment Strategy. Samantha Heath, Chair of the EnvironmentCommittee, said: 'Many new and exciting buildings could save Londonfrom flooding and put this water to good use, for example in airconditioning systems. The GLA has already made plans to do this inour new building at More London. We need to encourage newdevelopments to take this issue into account.'

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