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Ofwat targets threaten quality say water firms

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WATER COMPANIES warned this week that service quality will suffer if regulator Ofwat enforces the tight efficiency targets set in the draft water price limit.

'The targets could affect quality: quality to customers and quality levels of water companies who would have to operate with less staff, ' said industry body Water UK chief executive Pamela Taylor.

Taylor was addressing delegates at a fringe meeting at the Labour Party Conference.

Last month Ofwat set draft price limits which included targets for water companies to make year on year efficiency savings of 3%. Prices will be finalised in December.

Ofwat director general of water services Phillip Fletcher did not rule out reducing the targets before final price limits are set in December.

'We will consider all issues raised by companies before the determination. However, we thought very hard before we set these targets.

This period is not the start of a haggle. To make changes we would need to see new evidence to convince us of a need to change our approach, ' he said.

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