Water companies criticised over supplies

The Environment Agency (EA) has set out a ten-point agenda for water companies aimed at ensuring water supplies are properly and efficiently managed over the next 25 years.

The report, which is the Agency’s first response to the draft water resources plans submitted by the water companies, presents the baseline projections of water companies – showing where it believes that positive steps will be needed to maintain water supplies.

According to the EA, too many companies have not produced enough evidence to support their individual long-term strategies for balancing the needs of their customers and the environment, and have not made enough effort to make good use of the water they already have.

While proposed solutions for maintaining water supplies include leakage control, infrastructure improvements and demand management, water companies are said to have concentrated on resource development.

Recommendations include:

– water companies must reduce uncertainty associated with present unmeasured consumption;

– water companies must set targets for the impacts of their water efficiency programmes and report on their progress;

– water companies must consider sharing supplies of water as one way to make best use of resources;

– water companies must continue to strive for reduced levels of leakage; and

– water companies must consider the implications of tariff structures on consumption.

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