Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

New national water strategy in the pipeline

News

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY chief executive Baroness Barbara Young this week urged government to tackle water industry regulation as part of its new national water strategy.

'Personally I want to see it (the strategy) tackle the really big regulatory issues, ' Young told NCE.

Environment minister Ian Pearson is currently working on a new strategy for water resources in England and Wales.

It will update the 2002 strategy document 'Directing the Flow'.

Under the current system, Pearson reviews water company business plans and considers advice from stakeholders such as the Environment Agency before advising regulator Ofwat on what environmental measures must be incorporated into investment plans.

These plans are then used by the regulator to set water price limits. Under this arrangement the regulator retains ultimate control over price setting and investment.

'Are we getting the best results from the whole regulatory process?' asked Young. 'It is strange that the minister has not got many cards in his hands and there is not much he can do if the regulator disagrees with what he advises.

'The whole process should be looked at.' In an interview with NCE, Young said she would like to see water companies acting as water service companies that advised and provided equipment to customers enabling them to be more water efficient.

Ideally water companies would work with people advising them on and fitting low flow showers, taps and devices to reduce water use.

'We would also like to see a reduction in stamp duty on water efficient homes, the same as there is with energy efficient properties.'

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.