Defra has granted water companies a thirteen week extension (into January) for the publication of their statutory responses to representations made on their draft water resources management plans. This is achieved by direction under the Water Industry Act 1991. Meanwhile, Natural England has called on government to tighten the regulation of water companies, whose resource management plans it says are flying in the face of government policies to reduce water consumption and extraction, something which elicited a fairly immediate rebuttal statement from Water UK.