Ofwat sets new targets for cutting water leakage

Ofwat, the UK water industry regulator, has announced new targets which should ensure that water leakage is cut by a further 1.5% in 2002/3 to around 3,000 megalitres per day.

Since the peak levels of water leakage of 1994/5, when around 4,800 megalitres were lost per day, water companies have cut this wastage by nearly 37% says Ofwat, an achievement which will be added to by the new targets set out in the organisation’s new report, Leakage and the efficient use of water 2000-2001. The saving is enough water to meet the daily needs of more than 12.5 million people, says Ofwat.

“I am pleased that only three companies now need mandatory leakage targets,” said Director General of Water Services Philip Fletcher. “We shall, however, continue to monitor the national position closely. I remain particularly concerned about the position at Thames Water.” The water company is being required to take corrective action, he said, and has agreed to a set of steps to address Ofwat’s concerns.

“Thames is increasing the amount of treated water it puts into the distribution system,” said Fletcher. “But its estimate of what happens to this water has become even less reliable than last year. Thames has not yet been able to show whether this increased input of water is caused by greater leakage or by rising demand from customers. It is therefore not practical at present to set them a target.”

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