Following feedback from stakeholders, we have revised our approach to publishing the operational information water companies share with us. Rather than this being contained in one report, the information will now be broken down into the following categories and published as four separate, more focussed reports:
- Customer Vulnerability;
- Waste Water Resilience; and
- Water Resilience.
Today, we have published the final report ‘Water, water everywhere? Delivering a resilient water system (2016-17)‘.
Key findings include:
- In order to secure the future resilience of our water supplies, companies will have to make better use of the water resources that are currently available, through reducing leakage and encouraging customers to use water more efficiently.
- Appropriate investment in developing new water resources and strengthening the water supply network will also play an important part in delivering resilient water supplies in the longer term.
- It is disappointing that leakage and the amount of water that customers use increased in 2016-2017.
- Leakage can affect customers’ willingness to save water. We continue to question whether the rate that companies are reducing leakage is quick enough to meet their customers’ expectations.
- The increase in the amount of water that people use is an indication that current water saving messages are not convincing customers about the need to save water.
- Metering is expected to make customers use water more wisely. However, the average consumption of metered customers has risen.
- The average amount of time that customers are without a supply of water has reduced in the last year, which is good news for customers.
- The quality of drinking water in the UK remains high, companies must ensure that any plans to increase resilience ensure that water quality is not affected.
- In the future, the UK will be at increased risk of drought. We will continue to press companies to develop plans for maintaining supplies during droughts that cover all scenarios and in doing so they engage with all their customer groups. We want companies to plan for and to start investing in the future resilience of our water services to ensure water supplies are maintained in all foreseeable, and likely, drought scenarios.