Water companies’ efforts to tackle leakages can look even further into the future

Published: 3 Sep 2018



Water running down a metal drain.

Water companies today set out their plans for improving services between 2020 and 2025, with the aim of cutting bills, improving water quality and reducing leakages.

The Manifesto for Water published by Water UK outlines plans to cut bills by more than four per cent in real terms across England, and cut leakages by more than 16 per cent.

The National Infrastructure Assessment, published in July, included proposals for the Government to set a target for the water industry to halve leakages by 2050, with regulator Ofwat agreeing five-year commitments for each company as part of the regulatory cycle, and reporting on progress.

To support this, the Assessment also urged Ministers to enable companies to implement compulsory metering by the 2030s beyond water-stressed areas, and for companies to consider the systematic roll-out of smart meters as a key step to improving water efficiency.

Responding to the Manifesto for Water, a National Infrastructure Commission spokesman said:

“With as much as 20 per cent of mains water lost to leakages every day, it is encouraging to see water companies setting out five-year plans to tackle this issue.

“However, the threat of hosepipe bans this summer showed the need to shore up water supplies, and so we want to see companies look even further ahead, with a clear target to halve leakages by 2050.

“That, combined with a new water transfer network to support areas suffering shortages, and measures to reduce demand, would greatly improve the resilience of our infrastructure for the future.”

Notes to Editors:

The UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment was published on 10 July – for details of its recommendations relating to water infrastructure click here

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