Regulation of the Water Industry

October 12, 2018 3:52 pm Published by

On 9 October 2018 the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has released a report on the Regulation of the Water Industry, following its review, with recommendations on leakage and water meters.
The Committee said water companies should cut the amount of water lost in leaks by 50% by 2040 and recommended DEFRA give them powers to introduce compulsory metering.  In the face of dry weather conditions and droughts such as those experienced in 2018, the committee recognise that increasing resilience to water scarcity is needed,  and reducing leaks and increasing the number of properties with water meters are key ways to achieve this.
The WRSE supports the sensitive deployment of water meters, as evidence shows that people become much more aware of the volume used when on a meter and take positive active steps to become water efficient. This has a positive impact on their water bill and for the environment, as the less water used, the more is kept in the environment due to reduced abstraction.
The WRSE also supports the need to reduce leakage and is exploring how might this be achieved as a regional group. If more homes had water meters, it would be easier to find and fix leaks, as they would be noticeable from the meter readings.
The EFRA report also examined the periodic price review process i.e. the economic regulation of the industry and concluded that they were “incredibly detailed” and “could… inhibit long-term planning”. The report suggests the government should commission an independent review of whether the industry and its regulation is fit for the future, “particularly in the context of drought resilience”. The WRSE supports these recommendations.