Ofwat, the UK regulator, provides account of water loss throughout the United Kingdom

November 3, 2010 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

Ofwat’s annual report said while companies continued to deliver safe, reliable supplies, six out of 21 firms did not meet their leakage targets. Ofwat (the Water Services Regulation Authority) is the UK’s water utlity regulator and has broad oversight over water utilities. Ofwat was  established in 1989 when the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales was privatised.

Some interesting facts from the report:

  • Leakage levels are about 35% lower than their peak in the mid 1990’s
  • Reduction in leakage is a result of utilties investing £90 billion (in today’s prices) in maintaining and improving water and sewer infrastucture. Additional investments of £22 billion are required in the next five years, most of them obtained through debt in the public markets.
  • From Ofwat’s point of view, this level of investment is at risk if the financial conditions, population increases or climate change will require more investments or make current investment levels impractical.
  • Leaks were a major issue on mains in the cold winters of 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, the latter the coldest winter in 30 years. Companies reported high numbers of burst pipes because of ground movement caused by freezes and thaws. Despite this, utilities managed to meet this challenge and ensure service.
  • In terms of water loss, the worst performers were losing 130 litres of water per household.

News coverage of the report can be found here and here.

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