The Department for Business and Trade has said it wants to stimulate competition within the water sector through streamlined regulation as well as delegating some of Ofwat's powers around the non-domestic market.
Environmental regulation in Wales came under fire from politicians at a select committee hearing where witnesses described a cultural aversion to enforcement at Natural Resources Wales. The organisation's CEO said prosecution indicated regulation had failed and did not benefit the environment.
The government is considering fundamental changes to the regulatory appeals process for water companies. This includes the possibility of moving away from a complete redetermination of company business plan submissions in favour of appealing specific aspects - to mirror the regime for energy.
Ofwat's chair and chief executive both told a House of Commons committee that the proposed £100 million water efficiency fund would not be sufficient to stop people using as much water. Answering questions on resilience of supplies, Black said getting major infrastructure projects off the ground was a problem, but something Ofwat and other stakeholders are focused on.
Colum Goodchild, director of asset strategy at Aqua Consultants, argues water companies must do more with less and work closely with local communities and other stakeholders to manage assets effectively, tackle environmental issues, and rebuild faith in the sector.
Profits fell at United Utilities for the six months to September, which the company said was in part due to an emergency £30 million pipe repair at a sewage plant. It is on-track to double its performance rewards for outcome delivery incentives compared to the previous year and earn £200 million for the five years to 2025.
Thames Water should have been better prepared for disruption caused by Storm Ciaran, CCW has said, after thousands of homes were left without water. More than a dozen schools were unable to open on Monday (6 November) with an estimated 12,000 homes cut off due to ongoing problems with Thames' Shalford treatment centre.
In our latest round-up of the weekend’s national news coverage, Moody’s estimates that water companies are planning to spend £272 billion on upgrading sewage infrastructure over the next 25 years. Elsewhere, experts warn that new UK electric car charging laws do not solve all issues and Southern Water apologises for floods on the south coast.
Anglian Water has proposed to spend more than £9 billion over the next asset management period – an increase of more than two thirds when compared to £5.3 billion of total expenditure allowed by Ofwat in its final determinations for PR19. Under its PR24 business plan for 2025 to 2030, the company said its expenditure on the environment would more than double to around £4 billion.
CCW has called for funding, oversight, coordination and leadership of the water efficiency funding pot proposed by Ofwat as part of the upcoming AMP8. The consumer group said there was a risk of progress not being made without proper oversight and suggested converging the fund with a dedicated demand management initiative
Welsh Water has strong customer support for its ambitious business plan, despite almost half of customers admitting the proposed bills will be difficult to pay. The company has set out plans to improve services and performance for the years to 2030 and will ask customers to pay an extra 26%.
The cost of upgrading and future-proofing Thames Water’s ageing assets would be almost £20 billion, the company has revealed. To tackle the most pressing issues, Thames has proposed spending £4.7 billion on its assets in the five years to 2030. The figures are revealed within Thames’ PR24 business plan which it made public on 5 October, three days later than Ofwat’s submission deadline.
SES Water has said it will miss the water sector’s commitment to cut operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Its business plan for 2025-30, which said billpayers did not support fast-tracking such work, also outlines additional equity in the event of the company being sold. Read more details and a summary of other business plans from water only companies.
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