We may have a lot of rain in the UK but the pressure on existing water supplies is constantly increasing due to population growth, housing development and tighter controls of water being taken from the environment.

Climate change may result in longer and drier summers, also leading to greater strain on water availability and water supply.

All of the above means that we must think about how we use this resource.

Water companies can invest in new infrastructure, such as reservoirs and desalination plants for turning seawater into drinking water. However, this is very expensive, which customers will pay for through their water bills.

For this reason we expect water companies to do all they can to raise their consumers’ awareness of local water resource issues and provide information and practical help to encourage them to use water wisely. We also expect the companies to clearly show they are doing their part, primarily by reducing leakage.

In the medium term, where it is proven that additional water resources are needed, we expect water companies to take into consideration the impact these will have on customers’ bills (today and in the future), and to opt for measures which have gained widespread customer acceptance.

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