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Ofwat: State water sector must change

Earlier this month Ofwat set out a preferred framework for the role regulation will play in the water sector, including drafting initial proposals on getting a better deal for customers and the environment, and as such it’s calling for change in the industry. 

The detailed consultation paper by Ofwat stated that ‘if the water sector in England and Wales is to meet future challenges and to deepen trust and confidence it will need to change’.


Ofwat's advice for companies 

The regulator urges companies to source water and use sewage sludge more efficiently, while also gaining a better understanding of their customers’ priorities. It also wants to encourage better use of resources in how the sector harnesses energy from waste. The treatment of wastewater produces sludge, which is being used to create gas. This can be used for energy generation and therefore fed back into the grid. The regulator speculated it would like to remove ‘red tape’ to try and help meet UK energy needs sustainably.

Cathryn Ross, Ofwat Chief Executive, stated ‘Supplies are already stretched in areas where the population is rising. We want to kickstart water trading where this will help keep bills down and stop us taking too much water from our rivers. We also want to deregulate to free up scope for companies to make better use of sewage sludge to help meet their own, and the country’s energy needs. If we can encourage companies to innovate, and to truly understand what customers want now and in the future, we will be in a strong position to maintain trust and confidence in this vital public service.’ 

Ofwat will set out its finalised proposals in May 2016.


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