New leakage figures cast serious doubts over whether some water companies’ can achieve more demanding targets in the future, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
The Water Watchdog has criticised three water companies – Thames Water, Affinity Water and Hafren Dyfrdwy – for failing to meet their annual leakage target in 2018/19 and warned that they risk undermining wider efforts to encourage people to save and value water.
It’s the third successive year the industry’s worst leakage performer, Thames Water, has failed its target while Affinity Water came up short for the second year in a row. Both companies serve customers in the south east of England where water resources are under the most intense pressure due to factors including population growth and changes in our climate.
The latest leakage figures were confirmed in an announcement by Water UK today
Overall, the amount of water lost through leaky pipes in England and Wales fell marginally during 2018/19 but still amounted to 3.17 billion litres every single day.
CCWater has repeatedly called on water companies to show more ambition in tackling leakage, which irritates customers and dampens their own motivation to save water. Regulator Ofwat has already indicated that the industry will be set far more demanding targets over the next five years but the latest performance suggests some companies will struggle to meet those expectations.
Robert Light, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “It will be a huge concern and disappointment to customers that the majority of companies that failed their leakage targets are in the south east of England, where water resources are under the most intense pressure and people have growing concerns over the long-term security of their supply. The failure of these companies risks undermining the wider industry’s efforts to encourage customers to play their part in saving and valuing water.”
“It casts serious doubts over whether repeat offenders like Thames Water and Affinity Water will be able to achieve the more challenging future targets that the regulator Ofwat has set the whole industry and that customers want to see.”
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