Leakage

Ambitious regulatory and company targets mean leakage will be a key focus over the 2020-25 period and beyond. Find out what water firms are doing to tackle the problem.

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Scottish Water has partnered with universities across Scotland to form a hydro research and innovation hub to address pressing challenges facing the water sector and communities. Areas of focus will include driving down embedded and process emissions, enhancing the natural world and embracing the circular economy.
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Water UK has published a routemap for the water sector to use to feed into company leakage plans. It assesses costs and benefits of various approaches to tackling leakage to help the industry meet its 2030 public interest commitment and the National Infrastructure Commission's 2050 goal.
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Ofwat has named 13 projects that will be awarded a share of £5.2 million from its innovation fund for the second year of its Water Breakthrough Challenge. The projects will receive between £155,000 and £760,000 each to develop collaborative cross-sector innovations that improve water quality, reduce pollution and raise customer service levels as part of the competition's Catalyst Stream.
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Water UK has published a routemap for the water sector to use to feed into company leakage plans. It assesses costs and benefits of various approaches to tackling leakage to help the industry meet its 2030 public interest commitment and the National Infrastructure Commission's 2050 goal.
News
Ofwat has named 13 projects that will be awarded a share of £5.2 million from its innovation fund for the second year of its Water Breakthrough Challenge. The projects will receive between £155,000 and £760,000 each to develop collaborative cross-sector innovations that improve water quality, reduce pollution and raise customer service levels as part of the competition's Catalyst Stream.
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The 100th accreditation of Fine to Flush has been awarded among growing consumer awareness of the problems that plastic wet wipes can cause. The sector has ramped up its efforts to educate people on the dangers of flushing the wrong things down their toilets that can cause blockages and lead to polluted waterways.
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Latest in Leakage

The water sector has called for reforms to regulation to enable it to meet the challenges of supplying water in the face of climate change, population growth and aging infrastructure. Water UK chief executive Christine McGourty said: “Without urgent action there is a risk future generations will simply not have enough of this precious resource to go around.”
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Welsh Water, Northumbrian, Severn Trent, Anglian and Southern are among the winners of innovation funding from Ofwat's Breakthrough Challenge, to develop and implement schemes that address common water sector challenges, including leakage and driving down harmful emissions from wastewater treatment.
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The second piece of collaborative work from Ofwat and CCW has revealed billpayer priorities that the regulator said would inform outcome delivery incentives for the 2024 price review. Consumers were most concerned about issues that impact them directly, and wider factors that will affect them sooner rather than further in the future.
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Northumbrian Water has reduced leakage by 25% in parts of Newcastle and Dagenham where it has been trialling the use of digital twins to manage demand. The prediction model used existing data from the company’s network together with pressure sensors to identify where leaks occur in two of the highest leakage areas in Northumbrian’s network.
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Yorkshire Water is beginning the UK's first pilot to use water supply pipes to carry fibre broadband cables to connect rural areas with superfast broadband. The Drinking Water Inspectorate approved the use of the technology after ensuring it would not impact the quality or safety for customers.
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While most water customers are satisfied with the services from their supplier and sewerage companies, far fewer trust the sector to act in the best interest of communities or the environment, according to a new survey from Ofwat and CCW. The poll also suggested customers are more concerned with stopping sewage from entering water bodies, fixing leaks and preventing water shortages than keeping bills down or reducing carbon emissions.
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Severn Trent is planning to upgrade 25,000 customer-side pipes at the same time as it improves its own supply network in Coventry. The company is targeting leaky pipes and those made of lead to improve water quality and drive down leakage in the city.
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Affinity Water has begun a television, radio and social media campaign to inform its customers of the work it does to find and fix leaks ahead of ramping up its water efficiency messaging. The company said its research had shown leakage rates were putting customers off from saving water.
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United Utilities has proposed adding a climate change-linked condition to its executive bonus scheme. It said the incentive would bring the policy in line with the company's environmental and social ambitions.
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Anglian Water has called for stakeholder support, increased public awareness and a circular approach to treatment in a five-point innovation plan that sets out how it will tackle core challenges the company faces. Its chief executive Peter Simpson said innovation is at the heart of everything the company is doing to future-proof the East of England's water supplies for the drier decades to come.
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Anglian Water and Severn Trent have set out five ways they will improve river health across their regions. These will include encouraging the public to enjoy the waterways with more designated bathing sites and working to minimise the use of combined sewer overflows.
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Severn Trent is establishing innovation hubs globally to find solutions for common water sector problems from around the world, with an initial focus on reducing carbon emissions and lowering leakage rates. The first hub has been set up in Scandinavia with more to follow in Europe, Asia, North and South America as well as Australia and New Zealand
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