Ofwat sets out climate plans

Water watchdog Ofwat has drawn up a policy setting out how it will tackle the impact of climate change on the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales.

Preparing for the Future: Ofwat’s Climate Change Policy pulls together all of the organisation’s policies relating to climate change and shows how changing temperatures and weather patterns are affecting the water sector.

Reducing leakage and water consumption, flood resilience and cost benefits all come under the microscope in the strategy.

Ofwat bosses said it would help water and wastewater companies to make the right changes to their operations to benefit both consumers and the environment.

Chief Executive Regina Finn said: “This policy statement pulls together in one single place, the comprehensive and wide-ranging policy actions Ofwat is taking to ensure the sector is responding to the challenges of climate change.

“This is a long term issue – changing weather patterns are guaranteed for decades to come – and the sector must adapt to cope with that, while at the same time taking responsibility for its emissions and playing an appropriate part in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases produced in the UK.”

The document summarises policies to reduce leakage and water consumption, which the watchdog said will help to secure increasingly valuable water resources and reduce emissions. Last year’s leakage reduction led to a saving of 35 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per day.

It also provides guidance to protect consumers from extreme weather events, which are expected to increase as the climate changes.

Ofwat said the strategy also set a clear framework for industry investment to meet future challenges, including climate change.

Kate Martin

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