Water Watchdog meets in Salisbury

The Consumer Council for Water Western is inviting members of the public to its next meeting in Salisbury on Thursday 27 May where the committee will discuss investment in drinking water quality with local water companies.

One of the difficulties facing local water companies comes from the fertilisers and pesticides used by the farming industry which wash into local water courses when it rains. Over time the pollutants can make their way into the drinking water supplies. If the system continues, it could mean that eventually more investment will be needed from water companies, and in turn their customers, to ensure drinking water quality remains high.

Charles Howeson, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water Western, said: “The region’s water resources are in danger of being affected by rising levels of nitrates and other chemicals entering groundwater through agriculture and other activities. Water companies have shown that they can tackle the problem in the long term by working with landowners and farmers to help reduce pollution, rather than building expensive new treatment facilities which customers have to pay for.

“At the meeting, we will be looking at how companies plan to work with the farming industry over the next five years, asking companies to share best practice so they can learn from each other, and exploring how to best engage with the public to help protect our water resources in the years to come.”

Individual customers, interest groups and representative bodies are invited to participate in the meeting to raise any issues of interest or concern. Representatives from Wessex Water, Bournemouth and West Hampshire Water, Bristol Water and South West Water will be on hand to answer questions. The Consumer Council for Water wants to increase the use of consumers’ views when key decisions are made that could affect their services, and meeting in public is an effective forum to achieve this objective.

The meeting in public will begin at 9:30 am on Thursday 27 May 2010 at the Mercure White Hart Hotel, 1 St John Street, Salisbury SP1 2SD.