Minister pushes water companies to be more “ambitious” on leakage reduction

Utilities have been urged to drive down leakage to the low levels seen in Germany by water minister Therese Coffey.

Delivering the ministerial keynote speech at Water UK’s annual City Conference, Coffey praised the sector for its efforts to cut leakage. As a result, she said that average water use was now 10 litres per day lower per person than it had been in 2000.

“It’s good to see water companies taking control of leakage, particularly the visible leaks that undermine our goal to be more water efficient and build consumer confidence,” she said.

But Coffey said growing pressure on water resources due to population growth meant that water companies had to be even more ‘ambitious’ in tackling leaks.

“If we are to meet future water needs, we expect to see companies taking even more ambitious action to reduce leakage and cap consumption further to reduce usage to levels seen in Germany”

Germany has the lowest level of water leaks per capita in western Europe, according to research carried out by the European Environment Agency.

Coffey also told the gathering of water industry executives that she was pleased to see ‘great examples‘ of water companies working on retrofitting sustainable drainage systems within the existing network.