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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Water companies from across the UK as well as supply partners, NGOs and academic groups have been awarded funding for 11 projects from the Ofwat Innovation Fund to tackle shared problems faced by the sector. See the full list as well as the thoughts of Ofwat's John Russell.
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An environmental group has threatened legal action against environment minister Rebecca Pow’s department for not dealing comprehensively with combined sewer overflows.
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Installing one million smart water meters each year could cut the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 0.5 per cent over the next 15 years. The impact of smart water meters on reducing the UK’s carbon emissions has been calculated in a new report by Waterwise and Arqiva that suggests a nationwide rollout would save one billion litres of water daily.
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United Utilities has said it is on track for its lowest leakage rates ever in the first year of AMP7 and has more than halved its supply interruptions during the past year. In a trading update published ahead of its full year results to 31 March, the company also confirmed it has recorded no serious pollution incidents for a second year.
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Scottish Water’s decarbonisation strategy works back from the net-zero target of 2045 to establish what needs to be achieved and when – as well as who will pay. As part of our Countdown to COP series, chief executive Douglas Millican talks to Ruth Williams about taking a long-term view and how the company sought public backing for its plans.
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Anglian has set out how it will spend £630 million from 2021/22 across its region with a focus on leakage, strategic infrastructure projects and protecting waterways including chalk streams.
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Latest in Leakage

Ofwat has proposed a series of changes in the ways water companies report on leakage savings and costs to inform PR24 framework and suggested introducing mandatory reporting for embedded and operational greenhouse gas emissions. The proposals are partly in response to recommendations made by the Competition and Markets Authority as part of its PR19 redeterminations.
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After six years of underinvestment, Northern Ireland Water has been granted £2.1 billion to spend on capital investment programmes to improve infrastructure as well as to meet climate and environmental goals. The increase in capital investment will enable the company to provide wastewater treatment services that have lagged behind the rate of housing growth.
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Thames Water's head of smart metering talks about the trials, tribulations and many benefits the company has seen since it began the UK's first major smart water meter rollout
Interviews
Northumbrian's Innovation Festival returns for its fifth year with a hybrid of small physical hubs feeding into an online global event. Sprints, data hacks and workshops will focus on sector wide challenges with participants from within and outside of the water industry coming together.
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A tool that is drawn to leaks within pipes has won the Future Water Association 2020 Water Dragons prize. Qinov8's Aquapea moves through pipes and forms a seal over holes to prevent leaks
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Yorkshire Water has begun rolling out mechanical valves to 34 key sites across its region that will allow it to control water flow centrally. This will give the company greater control and the ability to react speedily to interruptions or water events in the network
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Waterwise is using this year's Water Saving Week to get people talking about the need to use water efficiently outside of the home. Its content will explore how water is used in businesses, community buildings and other non-household locations to get people to take action on saving water
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Thames Water is the first company in the country to undertake a mass rollout of smart water meters and has reached half a million installations. The firm said the programme has led to a reduction in leakage and greater consumer engagement with water efficiency.
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Scottish Water’s decarbonisation strategy works back from the net-zero target of 2045 to establish what needs to be achieved and when – as well as who will pay. As part of our Countdown to COP series, chief executive Douglas Millican talks to Ruth Williams about taking a long-term view and how the company sought public backing for its plans.
Interviews
Anglian has set out how it will spend £630 million from 2021/22 across its region with a focus on leakage, strategic infrastructure projects and protecting waterways including chalk streams.
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Southern has awarded contracts worth £14.5 million to Morrison Data Services for AMP7 with an option to extend beyond the current price control. It will cover meter reading and support to carry out two million visits each year.
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