Water companies would face targets to help customers save more than 23 million litres of water a day (Ml/d), under proposals published by Ofwat.
George Day, Ofwat’s Director of Network Regulation, said:
“We have to use water more carefully and cut waste if we are to continue to enjoy safe, reliable water supplies.
“The new approach to water efficiency targets we are proposing will be challenging for companies but help to reduce wasteful use of water. This should mean lower costs, lower customer bills and good news for the environment.”
Ofwat proposes targets to run initially for five years from 2010-2015. Companies will be expected to deliver real savings by providing household and business customers with information on how to use water sensibly, and promoting the use of water saving devices. All companies would have to achieve a minimum saving, while some would aim to save more as part of their plans to make sure that supplies are able to meet both current and future demand.
The proposed minimum annual saving of 23.3 Ml/d across England and Wales represents a 40% increase in the average amount of water saved by water companies annually over the past three years, excluding supply pipe repairs and replacements.
The targets would help companies to play their part in achieving the Government’s goal of reducing individual water usage to 130 litres per person per day from its current level of around 150 litres. If the proposed targets remain in place until 2030 we expect them to contribute at least half of the required savings.
Water efficiency represents part of companies’ work to reduce waste. They will also need to live up to their commitments to meet their leakage targets.