Water Industry News

Ofwat Publishes Annual Water Company Performance Assessment

The regulatory body for the water industry has published its annual assessment of water companies’ performances, with Northumbrian Water, Wessex Water, Bristol Water and South Staffs Water all doing well across a range of different measures.


Ofwat’s latest report revealed that Wessex Water came in the top category for the second year in a row, with the sector as a whole making good progress, especially in relation to hitting leakage targets, reducing supply interruptions and improving customer satisfaction.


Water companies have been set a tough challenge by Ofwat to reduce leakage, but a step change has been seen this year in comparison to previous ones, with the majority of suppliers achieving their targets, with meaningful progress now being seen after two decades of stagnation.


It was found that reported leakage is now seven per cent lower, as a result of a range of different solutions with relatively low cost. However, water consumption performance was found to have been poor, with just three companies meeting their performance commitments – suggesting that rapid progress is now required.


Where pollution is concerned, some suppliers were found to have delivered consistent reductions, but the industry still hasn’t made sufficient progress in this key area. South West Water, for example, has missed the majority of its pollution targets in the last five years, while Southern Water has also demonstrated extremely poor performance.


Chief executive at Ofwat Rachel Fletcher said: “Ofwat is working to transform water companies’ performance for customers. It is encouraging that some companies are making good progress by listening to customers and improving the service they provide.


“But others are falling short of expectations and still have much ground to cover. They must act with urgency and real commitment, to meet the standards people deserve.”


She went on to say improvements must be seen in environmental performance and the environment needs to be given more attention if water companies’ impact on the natural world is to be minimised.


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