Water and sewerage firms need to make a step change in innovation if they are to meet the challenges of ever rising customer expectations, population growth and climate change, water regulator Ofwat warned today.
The impact of recent weather – flooding in a time of drought – is just one short term example of the major long term issues that the industry has to start to tackle, it argued.
In its Statement of Principles, which outlines priorities for regulation for the period between 2015 and 2020, Ofwat says it intends to “send clear signals” to water companies on what they need to do, for example, by encouraging companies to trade water when supplies are low.
Other measures include enabling firms to increase innovation, for example by finding lower cost, lower environmental impact and lower carbon solutions.
“£98bn has been invested since privatisation, service for customers has improved significantly, our drinking water quality is among the best in Europe, and average bills are £120 lower than they would have been without regulation,” said Ofwat chief executive Regina Finn.
“But now we need to become smarter in how we value, manage and use water. This means the industry must focus on customers and show them how they are meeting their priorities.